Vip.com does not impress at first glance. The home page of the website lacks the polished look of some of the other online gaming sites, but it does not take long to discover that this impression is a bit misleading. This sports book site was actually one of the first ones to come online. It is based in the Netherlands Antilles, and it has offices and representatives in Curacao and Antigua.
When you first view the website, and navigate around a bit, you get the idea that this is actual a more amateur site. The truth is that the site is very easy to understand, and fairly simply to operate. It is a little hard to get all the information you might want until you are actually a member, and log into the site. It takes less than two minutes to set up your account. The pages that explain your funding options are very well organized with individual links explaining each option in detail. Vip does not accept deposits with direct bank transfers. They also do not accept Instadebit accounts, although the option list says it is coming soon. There is no charge for any of the funding options, and the minimums vary according to which you are using.
Payouts have the same very well organized and easy to read page. The fees and the time it takes to process the payout back to your personal account, and the minimum and maximum amounts are clearly stated on one menu. The process for funding your Vip account is fairly simple also, but there is one disadvantage here. Vip offers four separate betting sections. They are Sports, Casino, Horses, and Poker. These are combined into three separate accounts, and in order to play in one area, its account must be the one that is funded. This was a problem for me because I funded the Sports section for the purposes of this review, and after making a sample bet decided to play a bit of Poker. I had to transfer my funds to the Poker section in order to do this.
Although this is a rather simple process, it would have been better to have one account only. Also, unlike most other online sites, Vip does not operate fully on a 24 hour/7 days a week system. It is possible to place bets on a 24/7 basis, but transferring funds from one account to another, and requesting payouts are limited to office hours on Monday through Friday, and shorter hours on Saturday. There are night limits on the bets also, but this only involves high stake bets that need manager approval. The result of this limitation was that I was not able to play Poker until the next night.
On a more positive note, Vip has a very interesting reward program. Points are awarded for each bet placed, and can also be won in various ways in the Casino section of the site. Points are accumulated and may be turned in for prizes. You can work your way up through three levels. When you reach the third level, your points accumulate much quicker. This is a very unique system that tends to keep your betting action here, and encourages you to bet more often. Since it is based on betting volume, and not winning volume, it does give you something back even when you lose.
Once you get signed up and funded, and move to the actual betting areas, Vip really begins to look organized. The actual betting process is very easy to operate. There are links that give details on all the types of betting that are offered on a sport by sport basis. Easy to use drop down menus take you to wherever you want to go. It was very user friendly for a new client, and the instructions are clear and easy to follow. It seemed obvious that Vip had been doing this for sometime, and have had the opportunity to fine tune their site to reach this goal. It was refreshing to know that their efforts had gone in this direction rather than in putting in a lot of bells and whistles, and pictures of pretty girls. Those might be fun to look at, but do not make doing what you log onto the site to do any easier.
All the major Sports were covered, and a few non-sports bets as well. I considered making a bet on the 2008 Presidential election, but then decided I did not want to tie up my funds for that long, so I settled on a wager on the Spurs vs. Timberwolf game. Here is a quick summary of what I found to be the pros and cons of Vip.com.
– Easy to operate. This site was one of the most simple to operate that I have reviewed. What at first passes as a rather simplistic website is actually a well thought out and carefully designed platform to get you doing what you came to do as quickly as possible.
– Carefully Explained Cashier Section. Whenever you begin to use an online gaming site, the first thing you want to know is how you put money in, and how you are going to get your winnings out. Vip.com takes away the confusion on this manner better than any other site I have visited. Clear and unmistakable information on every funding and withdrawal method is given on an easy to understand menu.
– Reward Program. This interested me quite a bit here. Points are given for every type of wager. They are given as winnings in certain casino games, and even as part of every pot raked in the Poker rooms. The prizes can be converted into merchandise when you have accumulated enough. It is like gambling with a bonus.
– Business Hours. The Internet is a twenty four hour a day thing now. Most people are going to want their online casino to be that way too. The middle of the night is when many people might be visiting. Although the site is open, and wagers can be placed, certain administrative functions including the all important payout of winnings might have to wait until morning.
– Multiple In House Accounts. There are three separate accounts. Sports/Horses/and classic Casino is one account. New Casino is another. Poker is the third. Each must be funded separately. Money can be transferred from one to the other during business hours, but it would be nicer if you just had one in house account that covered everything.
Despite a couple of downsides, I was impressed with Vip.com enough to open an account and place a few wagers here. Perhaps, it was the lack of glitter and flashing lights that ended up impressing me the most. When the product is really good, glitter is not as necessary.