Casino Bellini Review

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Casino Bellini:

Recently I'd found myself doing a lot of bingo reviews for Online-Casinos.com. However, although I enjoyed my foray in to the online bingo world, casino action is where my heart lies and so when I was given the chance to give Playtech-powered Casino Bellini a whirl I jumped at the chance. This casino is managed by the same group that operates Casino Tropez and Casino Europe amongst others, and since these casinos have been around for a while I decided to see if Bellini has what it takes to become a mainstay in the online casino world.

To begin playing at Bellini a player must firstly download the installation software. This is only 312k in size, although further files are obtained from the Internet during the installation process. All in all a player should find downloading and installing the software takes a few minutes, although those on a slower connection may have to wait a little longer. Although some Playtech-powered sites have no-download versions of the software, I couldn't see anything on the Bellini site to suggest they too offer a no-download version. This didn't disappoint me though as the best playing experience (in terms of game quality and selection) is definitely obtained from Playtech's download version of the software. Similarly, the download version of the software allows non-English speakers to install the software in their native language - 7 languages are available including Spanish and Italian.

Although I had played at some of Bellini's sister sites, I was new to this specific casino and so firstly had to create a new account. The standard Playtech form is used to obtain a player's details and within a minute of so I had a new account up and running. Bellini is very much a European-focussed casino and as such the site talks about promotions etc. being in Euros. However, players are also able to sign-up using the UK Pound currency as well as the Canadian and American Dollar. It was the latter of these that I selected, although US players should note that they are actually forbidden from playing at Casino Bellini.

Although Casino Bellini does have a free play mode, the real fun of online gaming is to be had when in real mode and so I logged on to the casino for some real play action. Of course, a player's balance initially stands at zero and so the next thing for me to do was head to the cashier. Bellini offers an absolutely huge number of deposit options, something I've found with many Playtech-powered casinos. Since Bellini has a bonus offer that automatically kicks in when a deposit is made (and I was being too lazy to ask for this not to happen), I just made a small $30 NeTeller deposit to start with (an amount that I was happy to lose should the wagering requirements of the bonus be too onerous). However, those that like a bonus will be pleased to know that up to 100 extra credits can be obtained at sign-up (100% match) and an extra 50 credits on top of this was up for grabs when I chose to play! And so with $60 available I headed back to the casino lobby.

I was immediately impressed with the sleek look of Bellini - clearly the management are trying to move away from the slightly gaudy image adopted by some competitor sites. I also liked the ease with which a player can find any specific game - a handy menu system being used to assist a player with finding a game they want. This is certainly a needed feature with well over 150 different games playable at this casino.

When testing a casino I usually start off with some card game play. However, on this occasion I didn't do so - mainly because the bonus I was playing excluded a number of table games or only counted the wagering as 1/3rd true value in play through calculations. Nevertheless, I still had a look at the card game menu and was immediately impressed with the selection of games available - classic games such as Blackjack and Roulette are available but so too are games I'd never even heard of before - Tequila Poker, Wild Viking and Stravaganza are just some of the less well-known games available at Bellini.

In terms of table betting limits, Blackjack is played at $1 - $300 limits and up to 5 spots can be bet at once. Other cards games offer similar betting ranges, although Blackjack Switch appeared to operated with $3 - $200 limits and Three Card Poker had a $5 minimum. However, there really didn't seem to be too much variation between games and I am sure the majority of players will be comfortable with the betting limits imposed at Bellini. The only other games with slightly higher minimums are the live games - these see players bet against a real dealer with game actions beamed to the player via webcam. These games are great for those that are unsure about playing against a 'computer' and Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat and Roulette fans could well find themselves spending more time than they had planned if the look of the dealers I saw is anything to go by!

By now I was itching to play and so headed over to the slot part of the casino - as with most bonuses I was able to play any slot game I wanted with my free $30. Thankfully Bellini has a good range of slots including mechanical-style slots (usually three-reel games with few paylines) as well as a good selection of video slots, which usually offer players the chance to bet on multiple lines and often contain bonus rounds to boost payouts. A good number of progressive games are available too with many jackpots running into the hundreds of thousands.

I started my play on a game called Bermuda Triangle. This is a 3-reel game with 5-paylines. I've always liked this game as it seems to pay off frequently. This time it was no different and although I got off to a pretty average start, a $100 winner then appeared to boost my bankroll and get me over the $100 mark.

My luck continued on the Desert Reels game. This is a video slot which at the time of playing had a progressive jackpot standing at over $100,000! Although I didn't hit this, I did turn a $2 bet in to $34 which is not bad. Having said that, I used 4 wilds to make the win and a 5th wild would have seen me very much happier! My luck then continued, again on the same game when a risky $10 bet came up trumps with a massive $209.50 win!

After that my luck just seemed to stay with me throughout the session and I went on to hit some nice wins on the Tropic Reels game and also on the Beach Life progressive game - here I was able to hit a bonus round for another nice $100+ win! I have to say I played a lot of the slot games available (to meet the wagering requirements) and was impressed with every one I played. As with the table games I'd looked at earlier, all the slots had great graphics and I was really impressed with the smoothness of game play. Bellini management have clearly aimed to create a very elegant gaming experience and from what I saw this has definitely been achieved.

The next thing I did was to check out some of the Video Poker games. Unfortunately I couldn't actually play any because this was forbidden under the terms of the bonus I received. However, a good selection of single and multi hand games exist and from past experience of playing Playtech's VP games, I know Bellini's offering will certainly be a quality one.

At this point, and so with just under $300 in my account I went to cash out. However, this is where the fun started! It turns out that because I am from the UK the casino reserves the right to require deposits and bonuses to be wagered 30 times. I admit I should have read the terms more closely before playing but even so this did annoy me slightly. However, I'd agreed to these terms at sign-up and had to live by them. I decided though that I'd now try a boom or bust strategy - to wager $100 hands at Blackjack and either do amazingly well or crash out within seconds. Thankfully, although this is an exceedingly dangerous strategy, it paid off and after meeting the wagering conditions I ended up with exactly $1630 to cash out! Since the $30 bonus was non-withdrawable I was able to request a cash-in of $1600 - not a bad return on a $30 deposit!

Once the software had accepted my withdrawal it then sat in pending until it was processed. I have to admit I got itchy fingers a few times but realised that the win was too big to throw away. I did have to supply the casino with age-verified proof of ID (e.g. driving licence) for the withdrawal to be processed, but once I'd done this and after waiting 4 business days from the cash-in date I received the funds in my NeTeller account. This is not the quickest cash processing time but is certainly acceptable, particularly bearing in mind a $30 deposit and $1600 withdrawal could well have raised a few flags.

During the withdrawal process I had requirement to contact customer support (to send ID, find out how long the withdrawal would take etc.) As such, for once I can write about a genuine need to contact support as opposed to pestering with my made-up problems! Support is offered by email, in-game live chat and telephone with toll free numbers available for players in the UK and Canada. An international number is provided for all other players. Initially I thought that the lack of toll-free numbers would prove to be a failing. However, I quickly discovered that email support is highly responsive with all my emails receiving replies in 10-20 minutes! With email support this quick and the in-game live help being available, the small number of toll-free numbers is certainly not a major issue. Indeed, I was thoroughly impressed with Casino Bellini's customer support function!

In conclusion I was very impressed with my experience at Casino Bellini and not just because of the massive win! The number of games is superb and I thought the clever use of graphics and sound effects really helped make the playing experience fun. The support function of the casino is good with my only criticism here being the small number of toll-free numbers. Banking is also good, although again a small improvement could be made with cash-out speeds. These really are very minor points though and generally I think Bellini has made an excellent go of offering what a player wants in terms of an online casino. Although I don't expect to have any major wins here in the future, I certainly will be back to try my luck again!

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Click Pictures to Enlarge

A decent set of picks (in yellow) sees my win a nice $99 A $99 Win!

It's a life-saving spin on Bermuda Triangle when I win $100 to boost my bankroll up to a decent level Bermuda Triangle

Players are obliged to place two equal amounts on the Blackjack Switch table but are also allowed to swap cards in their hands to make a decent pair of hands Blackjack Switch

In-game chat means support is available instantly whenever it's required by a player In Game Support Chat

A nice win on the Desert Treasure Video Slot, but 5 wilds would have been a much nicer sight! Desert Treasure Video Slot

A risky $10 bet pays of really well when I get a win over $200 on the same Desert Treasure game Desert Treasure Nice Win

To entice new sign-ups to deposit an extra limited-time bonus is offered to new players Extra Bonus

Golden Tour didn't seem to be paying out until I hit this nice $50 winner Golden Tour

Mega Ball is a lottery-style game which allows a player to bet on various outcomes Mega Ball

A qualifying hand for the dealer makes my Straight even nicer whilst playing 3-Card Poker 3 Card Poker

Tropic Reels allows a player to hold any initially spun symbols in an attempt to get a better payoff when the reels spin again Tropic Reels

Ugga Bugga is a slot game that can be played across a number of machines at once Ugga Bugga

As the Video Poker menu shows, a good selection of games are available Video Poker Menu

Casino Bellini Strong Points:
  • Highly responsive customer support team
  • Huge number of games available (including live dealer games) which utilise quality graphics and sound effects to deliver a polished playing experience
  • Huge number of deposit options to make it easy for players to fund their account
  • Nice sign-up and on-going bonus scheme
Things Casino Bellini Could Improve:
  • Bonus wagering conditions can be slightly onerous for players from certain countries
  • Cash-outs take 4 days to process, although this is certainly not a terrible withdrawal processing time frame
  • The Video Poker selection of games could be increased but is certainly still acceptable

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