Casino Lab Introduction
If you haven’t heard of Casino Lab yet, don’t worry, as you are probably not alone. The site only launched in the second half of 2020, and Genesis has only begun advertising this site recently. However, like all Genesis Global casinos, Casino Lab benefits from operating under the oversight of several of the world’s most demanding and trustworthy regulatory regimes.
Scroll to the bottom of Casino Lab’s Homepage, and you will see the logos of The Malta Gaming Authority and British Gambling Commission proudly displayed. These organisations don’t just hand out gaming licenses to any old casino, and the penalties for breaking their rules can be severe. The problem is, all the Genesis Global casinos are operating under the same license number. So, no matter how good Casino Cruise may treat their customers, they have little control over what is going on over at Casino Lab. The better Genesis Global casinos may well end up paying the price for this further down the line.
Do a Google search for Casino Lab, and you are very likely to notice the abysmal score attributed to the site by Trustpilot shown on the very first page. Taking a deeper look at this reveals a significant number of the negative reviews have all been written by the same person using many accounts. Legitimate review sites such as Trustpilot have rules against this kind of spamming activity. Such behaviour is no way to deal with a legitimate issue.
Other players who have left negative reviews have received a reply from the casino indicating that their problems were eventually addressed. However, it is not unusual for players to fail to return and update their review after their situation has been resolved. That is particularly true if it took a significant period of time for the casino to address the player’s issue, which seems to be the case here.
How to Fix This Problem
The UK Gambling Commission requires all casinos covered by their license to verify players identities before allowing them to play. However, it appears that Casino Lab is not enforcing this rule for players located outside the United Kingdom – a breach of the terms of their license.
As a result, many players are requesting their first withdrawal before they have completed verification, and the casino is taking a long time to examine the documents that players submit. Those players are then turning to sites like TrustPilot to complain that they have not received their withdrawal because they do not feel they are getting adequate responses from casino support. The answer, of course, is to force players to submit their documents before allowing them to play. In many cases, the papers will be checked and approved before they make their first withdrawal request.
If Casino Lab does not implement such a fix quickly, the number of negative reviews about them will continue to grow. Worse still, they may find themselves in trouble with their licensing authorities.
Signing up at Casino Lab
Many players had positive things to say about Casino Lab, and my experience of Genesis Global casinos has been overwhelmingly positive. So, I was keen to find out for myself whether this was an excellent online casino or a site to avoid at all costs, as some other players had suggested.
Casino Lab Welcome Bonus Package
Signing up, you will be offered what Casino Lab calls a “Welcome Infusion”. So, what is a Welcome Infusion? It is a four-stage new player welcome bonus, including four deposit matches and 300 free spins on Play’n GO’s excellent grid slot Reactoonz.
How to claim the bonuses:
1st Bonus: Head to the cashier and select the Bonus from the dropdown box.
2nd – 4th Bonus: Head to the cashier & enter the Bonus Code above.
Bonus Terms & Conditions Summary
The wagering requirement for each of the four match bonuses is 40x the bonus amount only, which isn’t such a bad deal in today’s climate. That makes the 2nd, 3rd and 4th bonuses the most appealing, as whilst you receive fewer bonus funds – 50%, 25% and 25% respectively – your wagering requirement is a relatively small percentage of your starting balance. You can find the full Casino Lab bonus terms & conditions by clicking here.
Using my 300 free spins on Reactoonz
The free spins alone are worth 1,200 Rand, but be careful how you use them – there are wagering requirements attached to your winnings from the free spins, so you would be well advised to leave them alone until you have finished playing with your deposit and bonus funds first.
You’ll also need to remember to log in to the casino for the next nine consecutive days, as you only receive 30 free spins each day. It would have been nice to get them all in one go or at least be permitted to roll them over so that you could play many of them together. But, alas, this is not allowed, so if you do not log in for a day, you will lose the spins you had available on that day.
Whilst some players are unhappy at being forced to use their free spins on Reactoonz, I think it is an excellent game and have had some great wins from the slot in the past. I lost my first deposit and 100% match bonus reasonably quickly but was lucky enough to get a decent balance boost from my free spins, which enabled me to spend the rest of the night checking out various games.
Banking Options at Casino Lab
The following deposit and withdrawal options are available for South African players.
The Sting in the Tail
I chose not to deposit for the next nine days, logging in only to use my free spins instead – this way, I could make the most of my remaining match bonuses once all the free spins were gone. Unfortunately, I stumbled upon a rule I had missed whilst signing up due to this – a significant win on Reactoonz on day three meant I was ready to make a withdrawal. Unfortunately, it was at this point I discovered the maximum withdrawal from all 300 free spins is capped at R1,500. I found this extremely disappointing, as my balance was more than five times that amount when I requested the withdrawal.
Casino Lab Games
One of the many things that make me believe that these Genesis Global casinos are operated by different management and staff is that each site has a unique selection of games. Usually, when you come across casino groups with various websites, they are all essentially reskins of each other. However, that is not the case here.
Casino Lab offers slots, table games, and live dealer games from numerous software providers – more than the majority of Genesis Global sites.
Of course, all the heavy hitters are here – NetEnt, Microgaming, Quickspin, Play’n GO, Pragmatic Play, Red Tiger, Big Time Gaming, Yggdrasil and Push Gaming are some of the more well-known names on what is a very long list. The best part is that, unlike some other sites, Casino Lab does not limit the games available to South African players. That is probably because the site is based in Malta, so it escapes the complicated legal situation created by the repeated updates to South Africa’s gambling laws over the last two decades.
Disappointment Strikes Again
One unfortunate issue that I discovered on my first evening playing at Casino Lab is the large number of prohibited games that cannot be played using bonus funds. Open such a game, and you will immediately notice that half of your balance is missing.
Some games on this list are understandable, as they are open to abuse if played with bonus money due to the way they work. That doesn’t explain why NetEnt’s Dead or Alive games are prohibited, however. More and more casinos are banning these games from play using bonus funds, and the only reason I can see for this is that they have the potential for such huge wins.
Effectively, this is just the casino being tight – the RTP of these games is no higher than most other NetEnt slots, so why does it matter if a player hits a significant win whilst playing them with bonus money? Games that can pay out many thousands of times your stake could make it easy to complete any outstanding wagering requirements, and that, I believe, is the reasoning behind this decision.
My First Withdrawal Request – How Did it Go?
I chose to submit my identification documents as soon as I had finished signing up at the casino and began playing, but my account had not yet been verified three days later. I requested a withdrawal of around R8,000 after getting lucky with some of my Reactoonz free spins and went to bed pleased that I had recovered most of the money I had lost from my first deposit.
I awoke the next day to find that my account was now verified – four days isn’t an incredible turnaround, but it certainly isn’t the worst I have encountered. Unfortunately, the amount I received back on my debit card later that day was not the amount I was expecting – it turns out you can only win R1,500 from your free spins, as I mentioned above in the section “The Sting in the Tail”.
My frustration over this was exacerbated because I had so much trouble finding out the reason for the shortage. I probably should have just rechecked the terms and conditions at this point; however, I chose to contact support via Live Chat instead.
Reaching Out to Customer Support
My expectations were low when I hit the live chat button, as I had read on TrustPilot that the response time from customer support was utterly abysmal. Sadly, it seems that I also managed to try and contact support at the busiest time of the week – late on a Friday night – and I eventually gave up on waiting after not receiving any response for over 30 minutes.
I sent an e-mail next, but this also went unanswered for the next 24 hours. Finally, a telephone number is offered, which I expected would drop me straight into a huge queue. To my surprise, a human answered the phone within seconds of me dialling the number. After a bit of trouble verifying my identity (the rep had a strong accent – I’m unsure where they were from), we eventually got through the security checks. I was informed of the reason for my missing funds. Needless to say, I was not happy – all the more so when I was told the remainder of my free spins had now been taken away because I had already withdrawn the maximum allowed from that part of my Welcome Infusion.
I decided to enquire about my poor experience with the live chat and e-mail support functions whilst I was on the phone. The rep informed me that live chat responses could be slow at peak times, but they usually aim to answer all customers within ten minutes or less. As for e-mail, the target is 24 hours, but I never received a response to my query. Perhaps I filled out the form incorrectly? I double-checked my spam folder just in case but found nothing. My question may have been marked as resolved after I spoke to the agent on the phone, perhaps, but it is disappointing to receive no response all the same.
In Conclusion: Casino Lab
There’s a lot to like about Casino Lab – the website is attractive and modern, it works well on a variety of devices, and the backing of Genesis Global means you can be sure of being paid. That said, it is worrying there are already so many player reports of poor experiences as this is such a new casino.
The game selection is excellent, though, and the four-stage welcome bonus is one of the most generous you will find online today. However, the large number of terms and conditions attached to the bonus does let it down a little, particularly the list of prohibited games.
Don’t forget to log into your account every day to collect your free spins, and be sure to save your largest deposits for the 3rd and 4th match bonuses. You’ll need to remember to enter the bonus codes WCL3 and WCL4 when claiming these offers. The great thing is because these bonuses make up such a small percentage of your starting balance, you have an excellent chance of completing the wagering requirements whilst playing with them.
Almost all negative reviews concerning this casino were written by impatient players, disappointed by delays getting verified and receiving winnings. You can avoid this situation by making sure to submit your documents immediately after completing registration. If you experience any problems with Casino Lab, there are many independent arbitration services easily located via Google that will straighten things out with ease.
Considering that Casino Lab has multilingual support that is supposed to be available 24/7, our experience during testing was also underwhelming. It is likely things will improve, though – again, this is a reasonably new website, and the terms of their licenses with the MGA and UKGC will force the operators to up their game soon enough.
Meanwhile, Casino Lab is cautiously recommended – it’s always fun to choose a new casino when you fancy a weekend gaming session, as you can enjoy the extra funds provided by the welcome bonus. You will receive ten days of free spins even if you only make the minimum deposit of R150, which is a great deal.