Who are 888 and Rizk?
In order to get a more thorough understanding of the market and what’s available to players today when it comes to mobile casino apps, it’s useful to look at two brands with very different histories — 888 Casino, one of the oldest online gambling brands and which in 2017 is celebrating its twentieth anniversary, and Rizk Casino, a new operator that was launched as recently as 2016.
888 Casino has been online since 1997 and in that time has won numerous awards. It’s a brand with a wide portfolio, including sports betting, poker, bingo and casino apps, and offers online slots games by different producers, as well as its own exclusive games. Licensed by the Gibraltar Gaming Commissioner, the UK Gambling Commission and independently audited and tested by eCogra, 888 Casino is the epitome of an established global brand and is perhaps one of the best examples what might be termed a ‘traditional’ online casino.
Rizk Casino, on the other hand, is one of the new kids on the block. In operation just over a year, Rizk Casino breaks the mold when it comes to preconceived ideas about how an online casino should look. It focuses on fun and the quality of the gaming experience in a very different way, with its Captain Rizk character, Wheel of Rizk and Rizk Races, and it has managed to display this look and feel across all of its platforms . Unlike some smartphone and tablet apps that differ wildly from their desktop counterparts, Rizk Casino’s app software is almost identical. In so doing, it’s staking out a very different place in the market and aiming to attract a new generation of online casino game players. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s not a serious site — Rizk is licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission.
How do they compare?
888 has free casino apps that can be downloaded for iPhone and iPad (iOS 7.0+), as well as Android smartphones and tablets. The iOS app can be downloaded from iTunes (search for ‘888 Casino: Slots, Live Roulette & Blackjack Games’), while the Android app can be downloaded directly from 888 by going to www.888casino.com/mobile.
Rizk Casino mobile apps are also available for free for both iOS and Android devices. You can download the iPhone and iPad (iOS 8.0+) app from iTunes (search for ‘Rizk Casino’), while the Android app (4.4+) is available from Google Play by searching for ‘Rizk Games’.
Alternatively, at both 888 and Rizk, mobile slots and casino games can also be played in web-based versions directly in the browser of any smartphone or tablet, including iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry.
In terms of the number of mobile slots and other games that can be played, the selection in the 888 mobile casino app is not huge. There are around 100 mobile casino games to choose from, and this includes mobile slots games in all categories produced by NetEnt and other developers, and the range of games also includes a good selection of 888’s exclusive progressive jackpot slots and mobile video slots games, including Steampunk Nation, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Pirates Millions, Rise of the Pharaohs, The Big Lebowski and Millionaire Genie. Live dealer games are also available in the 888 casino app, as well as classic casino table games such as roulette, blackjack, baccarat, along with video poker.
The selection of online slots in the Rizk mobile casino app is larger, with around 200 slots games to choose from, produced by Microgaming, NetEnt and others. The range of games includes the biggest and best-known progressive jackpot slots, like Mega Moolah and Mega Fortune, live dealer games, classic casino table games, and video poker can also be played using the Rizk mobile app.
Overall, the Rizk selection of games is the larger of the two, and ultimately offers more variety, especially when it comes to progressive jackpot slots, as 888 does not feature the major progressive games produced by Microgaming and NetEnt. However, despite 888 Casinos reputation for outdated software the gap between its games offering and Rizk’s isn’t that great.
As well as its own games, like Party Pigs, Clash of the Titans, Bloodlines and City Life 2, 888 Casino also provides a good range of NetEnt mobile slots (titles include South Park, Gonzo’s Quest, Starburst, Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack Hammer, Fruit Shop, Twin Spin), along with games by emerging developers like Blueprint Gaming, Ash Gaming, WMS, Next Gen Gaming and Amaya.
The games are also of the highest quality in the Rizk Casino mobile app, and come from a variety of different developers, including NetEnt, Microgaming, Yggdrasil, Play N Go, NYX Gaming, Quickspin, Scientific Games, IGT and Betsoft. As well as new release titles, the mobile slots collection includes well-known games like Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest, Guns N Roses, South Park, Immortal Romance, Thunderstruck (1 & 2), Motorhead and Jurassic Park. This is alongside a large number of big payout progressive jackpot slots.
In terms of their design and UI, the two apps look very different, reflecting the different approach to branding that they have — 888 is instantly recognizable as a mobile casino app, while the Rizk app has a less obvious focus on the games, but instead places its character Captain Rizk front and center, and so it’s less conventional in appearance.
In terms of their functionality, the organization and categorization of slots games on the Rizk app is the better of the two, as slots can be sorted by both type and theme, and so finding both your favorite titles and new games is quicker and easier, important when you’re playing on the smaller screens of phones and tablets.
Both mobile casinos offer new players who sign up for real money accounts via their apps a Welcome Bonus, and in each case, it’s the same offer as is available for players at the desktop site, so there is no real advantage in this regard to creating a new account using the casino app — you know that whatever platform you use, you’re going to be able to pick up a bonus when you set up a new account.
However, new players in the 888 mobile casino app also get a no deposit bonus on registering, where you can win up to £888 in free play bonuses. Following on from this, when you make your first deposit you receive a 100% match bonus up to the value of £100, immediately doubling your bankroll. This Welcome Bonus comes with a 30x wagering requirement, which currently ranks amongst the lowest in the industry.
The Rizk casino app doesn’t offer new players a no deposit bonus, but first deposits are matched 200% up to £100, so for a £50 deposit you begin playing with £150. You also get 10 free spins with your first deposit, and then 10 a day for the next four days, giving you 50 free spins in total. This is also accompanied by 1 free spin on the Wheel of Rizk, which gives you the chance to win cash prizes or additional free spins. The wagering requirement attached the Rizk Welcome Bonus is 45x.
Overall, the 888 Welcome Bonus comes out on top, largely because of the no deposit bonus and the lower than average playthrough, although the free spins offer as part of the Rizk signup bonus do add to the value of the deal.
As promotions at mobile casinos change regularly, it’s a good idea to subscribe to the newsletter, or adjust your settings so that you get notifications about bonuses and special offers so that you are always up to date with the latest deals. For instance, look out for special offers from mobile casinos when a new game is released, as there are often free spin bonuses and deposit matches on offer as an incentive to get players to check out a new game.
Both 888 and Rizk mobile casinos apps offer UK players a variety of convenient and accessible payment methods. Both accept Skrill and Neteller e-wallets, as well as pre-paid Paysafe Card, alongside MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards. Both also accept deposits via wire transfer and direct bank transfer.
However, 888 probably has the edge in this department, in that in addition to these payment methods, it also accepts Apple Pay and iDebit, as well as EntroPay virtual Visa cards and Diner’s Club. Also, there are no fees for making deposits or withdrawals at 888, but with Rizk casino app there are charges, which will either be a flat rate of £2.50 or a percentage between 2.5%-5%, depending on the payment method. Rizk does, however, tend to have faster withdrawal times.
The pros and cons
Ultimately, which of the two apps you prefer may well come down to how important you consider it to be how a mobile app looks — do you favour the more traditional design, or is a more imaginative look and feel to a site important to you? Your playing preferences will also play a large role in determining which app you prefer — do you need lots of variety in your gaming, or are you happy to stick with one or two favourites? Are you a fan of progressive jackpot slots, or is a wide selection of table games more important to you? It may also be the Welcome Bonus that swings the deal for you — do you prefer a no deposit bonus, or free spins?
In the end, I’ve come down on the side of the Rizk casino app. It’s the range of the games that ultimately sways it. As well as featuring more of the big name, big payout progressive jackpot slots, I also like casino apps that give me as large a choice as possible when it comes to slots games titles and producers, and in this regard, the Rizk casino app just shades it. And while I think the 888 Welcome Bonus offers the better value, and I definitely prefer not to have to pay fees when I make a deposit or withdrawal, in the end I’m all about the games, and the fact of being able to play a larger number of Microgaming and NetEnt slots together in the one app, as well as games by some of the newer names, is why in the end I think the Rizk mobile app is the better of the two.