Sahara Sands Casino Comprehensive Review
If Sahara Sands Casino has a familiar ring to you, you are most certainly right! This online venue suspended its operations in May 2013. However, new owners have since taken over and have re-launched the site in July 2014. Our article will deal with this new casino review, carefully examining the service they provide. Let’s get to it.
Sahara Sands Casino Review
Sahara Sands is your typical modern site with an interesting, oriental, design. Dunes and palm trees decorate the home page of this casino — filled with all sorts of promotional offers that are just one click away. Upon using the interface, players can see galloping camels and flying magic carpets; meaning, that the casino design is far from trivial or uninteresting. So far so good, let’s see what else they have to offer.
This newly-relaunched site is under new management since 2014, when they became a part of the Cyberrock Entertainment group — they have been continuously connected with the Rome casino group which is an entirely defunct venue holding a notorious reputation for a couple of years. As for their licensing, we stumbled on a bunch of watchdog portals claiming that they are uncertain of their regulatory details solely because they do not provide any information on their gambling license on their website. This is highly suspicious, especially so when we stumbled on a lot of unresolved complaints. Hence, we need to investigate their business more thoroughly.
As previously mentioned, we came across many contradictory statements about the regulatory body of the Sahara Sands casino. According to many portals, the site obtained a license by the government of Curaçao. After carefully examining the site’s Terms and Conditions page, we managed to find a statement confirming this information. However, how can we be sure that this is true? We would be more than glad to verify this issue with their customer support, however, the site hasn’t provided that option.
The software this platform uses was manufactured by the famous software provider Rival Gaming. The focus of the provider was mainly on slots with the occasional choice of other games. Currently, they don’t provide any versions of live games in their offer. What they produced is an interface that is easy to navigate and the games are available for both download and instant play.
They sported a fine modern-looking site and secured the gameplay by implementing standard SSL encryption. It is important to note that they introduced TST ( Technical Systems Testing ) which is an internationally known testing facility. This way, players can rest assured that there is impartial testing and analyzing of operators, suppliers, and equipment — performed in order to provide a more fair and secure gameplay.
Besides providing interesting design and ensuring fairness and security of the players, the Rival gaming made sure to create a more exciting game library by introducing the iSlots category. This move put them high on the list of favorites.
As previously mentioned, the provider’s main focus was primarily on their slot offer. This is why players can enjoy over 150 versatile titles. These include the most popular iSlots, progressives, video poker machines, and many more. The most popular titles you can find in their exclusive iSlots offer include Reel Crime 1, Bowled Over, and all three parts of the Cosmic Quest — an extremely trendy title. You can also enjoy the classic 3-reel slots with Gold Rush and Global Cup Soccer, or even opt for some more modern ones like Costume Party or Day at the Derby.
However, if you are, in fact, looking for to score some big wins, and progressives are your game of choice, test your luck with impressive jackpots on Major Moolah and Strike Gold 5-reel slots.
The table games library includes over 20 different options, including all-time favorites — Blackjack, Craps, Baccarat, Poker War, and both versions (American and European) of Roulette. The video poker offer will surely satiate your thirst with Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, Tens or Better, and Deuces and Joker. But if you prefer specialty games, go for Bingo, Keno, Sudoku or Scratch cards — that will surely meet your expectations.
Rival gaming made sure that you can thoroughly enjoy their platform on all devices. This is why they made their games compatible for multiple platforms (including mobile devices) on Windows, iOS, or Android operating systems. The interface is available both in English and French.
The Terms and Conditions Check up
Before we get to the fun part where we examine their promotional offers, as well as bonuses that await newcomers, we need to carefully examine their Terms and Conditions page. The goal is to make sure that you are making the right choice if you decide to join this venue.
The first thing that caught our eye is the following disclaimer:
The age requirement is a must rule to follow. Yet, as far as we know, the minimum age criteria for both online and live gambling is set to 18 or 21 — depending on the local national laws from country to country. This restriction is harsh but it also implies that they are a serious and responsible business. Let’s move on.
The next clause we had troubles with is the following dormancy clause:
As a general rule of thumb, a lot of venues nowadays including dormancy clauses in their Terms and Conditions page. Even though it has become a known practice, the dormancy fee is not something that is quite acceptable, yet. Some websites decided to charge a small nominal fee after one year of absence or not charge at all. Closing a player’s account after one year of absence is a valid move, but clearing the player’s funds after only 90 days of inactivity is a borderline criminal act. The dormancy clause is something you should always check before joining a casino since it is an excellent indicator of the overall performance and the fairness of the casino in question.
The withdrawal policy especially caught our eye:
To be clear, there is nothing that wrong with this clause except for the apparent — it takes too, too long. However, we would be able to close one eye and be okay with this term, but setting limits and refusing someone’s fair earnings due to pending an authorization process that ultimately relies on the availability of the customer support is another unacceptable fact. As previously mentioned, the customer support is currently unavailable while the site operates just fine.
Promotional Offers — Varied Bonuses and High Requirements
When it comes to the Sahara Sands promotional scheme, we can say that it is exciting and advantageous for all novices who decide to join. The ones who opt for no-deposit offers will be very pleased since, on arrival, you are granted a free bonus of seven dollars that needs to be wagered sixty times.
Once you decide to invest, the 300% matching welcome bonus is awaiting you and the minimum you need to deposit is set to $25. The maximum cashout on this offer is $600 and the wagering requirements are set to 30x for both bonus and deposit.
For the slot enthusiasts, Sahara Sands secured 100 free spins, and the credits that you win are subjected to 60x also — which we can agree is rather high.
The bonus structure is standard, and it implies that your funds will be locked from the moment you deposit until all wagering requirements are met. It is interesting that there is no maximum bet term stated anywhere on the site, but the maximum win allowed follows this formula: 5x (deposit+bonus).
The casino games that are excluded from this promotional offer are the following: Baccarat, Craps, Red Dog, Roulette, and progressives.
As for their loyalty scheme — it is rather simple with not that many surprises for their loyal customers. Players are rewarded with comp points with every wager they make and by collecting them, they rise further up the status list, unlocking other benefits. However, there were no additional details on their website, and we didn’t have a representative to clarify this either.
The refer-a-friend policy is included, and it implies that the referred party needs to sign up for the first time and deposit at least $100 to their account. The bonus will be accredited once the referred friend has successfully deposited that amount and that amount needs to be there for the next 48 hours while the transaction is processed. There are no implications on what offer exactly will be thrown their way, so you would be making a risky move if you decide to refer a friend.
We need to emphasise that gamblers coming from all post-Soviet republics are treated differently. For some reason, these players are awarded a different set of conditions if they decide to partake in bonus offers of the Sahara Sands Casino. No further explanation is provided. We should probably stress out the restricted countries too. Sahara Sands will not accept players coming from the following countries: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Canada, Cayman Islands, Estonia, Guam, Hungary, Poland, Singapore, and South Africa.
We want to give our warmest advice: study the promotional Terms and Conditions page attentively before you decide to go through the verification process.
Sahara Sands accepts the following currencies: the US and Canadian dollars, the Euro, the British Pound Sterling, and the South African Rand. Players can deposit with Visa, Mastercard, Ukash, Neteller, Click2pay, Skrill, and UseMyFunds. As for the withdrawals, players have Checks, Neteller, Visa, EcoPayz, and Skrill at their disposal.
The average time you need to wait for your deposit to be processed is around 5–7 business days. However, according to some players, this time frame can easily be extended to 19–23 days.
You can count on collecting your winnings within 15–18 business days at least; if you wish to count on player experiences — it can take much longer. They strongly advise using Neteller for your withdrawals since this way you can rely on collecting your winnings within 10 business days.
The minimum deposit is set to $25 while the maximum cashout is not specified anywhere on the site. As for the withdrawals, the minimum you can pull out is $100, while the maximum is set to $10,000 on a monthly basis.
According to various players’ comments on many portals, the site used to have email and live chat support available, only. Email support was providing assistance within a 24–48 hour time frame, which is barely good enough. The live chat support was helpful, knowledgeable, responsive, and was available to registered players only. However, we carefully examined the Sahara Sands website looking for any customer support information, but we haven’t had any luck thus far.
It’s needless to say that this way of conducting business is far from acceptable. Just because they have a license in place doesn’t mean the player rights are protected. Obviously, that is not the case here. The pile of unresolved customer complaints in the recent couple of years are a part of this problem since the support system is available only from time to time.
The operator should be aware of all possible consequences since these activities are considered to be illegal and unfair to their customers. If the site is not able to provide the support that will resolve all the potential issues, then they shouldn’t be operating and collecting deposits from their customers. This is entirely unacceptable, primarily because, in their Terms and Conditions, they emphasize that the verification process for withdrawals need to be submitted within 30 days or those winnings will be taken from the customer account.
This way of conducting business is partly rogue-like — a practice well-spread in this industry.
Sahara Sands made an excellent first impression with its well-executed design and easy to navigate interface. The bonus program is not something they should brag about, but the scheme is decent enough to attract new players.
It is clear now why the Rival gaming invested that much in their impressive slot range, they were clearly trying to salvage the deal since they didn’t have much to offer. They made an excellent slot game library with a unique design and well-known titles. Their progressives are also excellent, however, the wagering requirements are unduly high.
All in all, the lack of customer support, the dormancy clauses and harsh restrictions can help you in making this decision. Sahara Sands can receive big praise for their slots library, excellent design and decent promotional scheme, but this venue’s rating is slightly above average. With all of these things in mind, they can barely reach average.
Our warmest advice: study their site attentively before you decide to join this group of operators with a questionable history. There is a sea of operators providing fair service with an extensive slots library as well!
- Reputation: 3 out of 5 stars
- Software provider/games: 5 out of 5 stars
- Deposit and withdrawal options: 2 out of 5 stars
- Payout period: 2 out of 5 stars
- Customer support: 1 out of 5 stars
- Bonuses: 3 out of 5 stars