Bounding into the online casino arena back in 2014, Royal Panda made an immediate impact. With its whimsical visuals, lighthearted marketing style, instant-play platform and multiple software providers, this is a casino that clearly takes some cues from Casumo, which was launched a couple of years earlier.
Royal Panda was set up to be a disruptive influence on the market. That means better customer care, more generous promotions, transparent terms and conditions, and a more user-friendly website. So, does it succeed in its mission, or is it just another casino site hiding behind a Pixar-inspired mascot?
Safety and Trustworthiness
Given that this casino is known for being customer-focused, fair, and transparent, it’s no surprise that all of the most important certifications and regulatory requirements are in place.Its primary license is from Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), which most will know as a well-respected certification body within the world of online casino gaming.
In order to press ahead and give the UK market the full online casino experience, Royal Panda recently acquired a much sought-after license from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).
Given the founders’ stated mission of customer fairness and transparency, we’d really like to see more clarity on the site about RNG (random number generator) certification and Return-to-Player (RTP) percentages. The best sites in this area provide links from the homepage to the certificates issued by independent auditing agencies like eCogra. See 888Casino or 32Red for good examples of this.
It looks to us like Royal Panda relies on the auditing performed by the software providers themselves. That’s perfectly legitimate, but a single-line reference to game fairness buried in the Help Centre hardly sets new standards for the industry.
On the other hand, player reviews online suggest that Royal Panda’s customers are highly satisfied with their treatment by the casino. And Royal Panda representatives often get involved to thank players for their positive feedback or offer help with any issues they might have suffered.
As of October '17 Royal Panda Casino and Sports has been acquired by LeoVegas, a publicly listed company which in itself receives sterling feedback from players this is another sign of trustworthiness in these brands
Deposits & Withdrawals
Royal Panda is a bit light on options when it comes to deposits and withdrawals. The lack of PayPal stands out, especially for a modern, player-focused UK online casino.
Royal Panda rolls out the red carpet with its playful, lighthearted site design. Sadly, the Welcome Bonus falls a touch flat, in our opinion. What’s offered is a matched first deposit of up to £100, with 10 free spins for use on Starburst thrown in. Considered “average” by today’s deposit bonus standards, Royal Panda is going to need to kicks things up a notch if it really wants to make headlines.
In size, Royal Panda has a bonus that is more middle-of-the-road than anything else, but what may just be its saving grace are the wagering requirements. Coming in at a fair 35x, by putting pedal to the metal you can quickly turn it into cold hard cash.
The bonus also comes with a lengthy time cap too, at 90 days; this is triple what you’ll find at other online casinos (such as Sky Casino).
However, while video slots, classic slots and scratchcards contribute 100% towards the wagering requirements, all other types of games contribute just 10%. This isn’t unusual, but if you prefer to play roulette or blackjack there are other casinos where those games contribute 20% or more to the playthrough requirement.
Overall, this isn’t a bonus that’s going to have high-rollers fumbling for their platinum cards, but the fair, straightforward terms and conditions make it well worth the time of the average player.
This online casino is all about what’s fun and fresh, with this coming through loud and clear within its game catalogue. Royal Panda is backed to the hilt by the likes of premium developers Microgaming and NetEnt, as well as smaller software companies, such as 1x2 Gaming. That means the slot selection is anything but “watered down” here. Admittedly, the selection of games isn’t going to rival LeoVegas anytime soon, but you can’t deny that it has the entertainment factor in abundance.
That said, the user interface is surprisingly conservative for a casino site with such a modern outlook. It’s not the most enticing or glitzy design, but at least games are presented in a way that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.
Giving you a small taste of what’s at hand, it appears that slot games are the big draw at Royal Panda, with 350+ instant-play slot titles on offer. Games like Wild Water, Double Magic, Fortune Cookie, Starburst, and the cash-loaded Mega Moolah really don’t disappoint, with the mix of 5-reel and 3-reel games at hand covering all bases.
Guaranteeing that tabletop casino fans aren’t left out in the cold, Royal Panda features a diverse array of table games. This game selection includes blackjack (such as Atlantic City and Double Exposure), Roulette (including the action-packed Multi-Wheel Roulette), and even the likes of baccarat, casino hold'em, Vegas Craps, and Progressive Caribbean Stud. Finally, video poker and scratch card games are also in the mix through the likes of Triple Wins, Ace, Fortuna, Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Joker Poker, Tens or Better, All-American Poker, Aces and Faces, and Bonus Poker Deluxe.
Live casino duties are handled by the industry pacesetters, Evolution Gaming, with a neat selection of both standard and special versions of roulette and blackjack (Double Ball Roulette, Blackjack Party), as well as more niche table games such as baccarat, Caribbean Stud Poker, three-card poker, and casino hold’em.
While other online casinos like to place special focus on one particular game format (once again, see LeoVegas) Royal Panda presents a more diverse selection. As a result, by today’s standards this casino site is a fantastic all-rounder. A final bonus for gamers who like to partake in some online betting is the launch of their new sister sports site, Royal Panda Sports.
First of all, there currently isn’t a dedicated Royal Panda Casino mobile app on the market. So, if you enjoy playing on the move through a downloadable app, you are sadly out of luck here.
That being said, we found the mobile website of Royal Panda Casino to be more than up to par. Unfortunately, like the desktop site, it’s unlikely to win any design awards. The game selection is presented in a scrolling grid, with the menu at the bottom of the screen. It gets the job done but it could definitely be more inviting to use.
Featuring over 220 touch based games, those who have mobile play on the mind (along with an iOS, Android, or any browser-boasting smartphone at hand), will find plenty to play on the go via the Royal Panda mobile platform. All you have to do is visit the regular site from your phone to get started.
Ask and you shall receive. Royal Panda has plenty to brag about when it comes to promotions. The site really does load up on action. From free spins to cold hard cash, you’ll find it all here.
Highlighting a few picks, the Bamboo Bonus allows every player to kick-start the weekend in style with a balance boost of 50% of up to £150 available every Friday. It’s good to see a straightforward, regularly available reload bonus. The conditions are the same as the introductory bonus, so this offer should work especially well for slots players.
For those who have VIP play in mind, Royal Panda has you covered with the Loyal Panda loyalty scheme. Allowing players to rack up points, this can be your ticket to free spins and all kinds of goodies from the Loyal Panda Shop, if you play your cards right.
Royal Panda Casino treats customers well, by all accounts, with customer support available through phone and live chat – although only between 9am and 10:30pm.
The Final Word
Royal Panda tells us on its site that its mission is to be a breath of fresh air in an industry that too often fails on user experience, customer care and player value. So, does it succeed in “appreciating and entertaining” its customers like no other online casino? Well, it’s certainly moving in the right direction. The game selection is strong, especially on slots and live dealer games. The promotions are also good overall, although as usual, non-slots players will find it tough to meet the terms and conditions.
We’d like to see a fresher site design, and more transparency on game information, particularly when it comes to RTP percentages. Does it offer a disruptive market changing experience? Probably not, but any player who is on the hunt for a fantastic all-round online casino experience should take Royal Panda Casino for a spin.