Ignition Casino is an online casino that exclusively caters to United States gamblers. The site is licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission in Canada. The casino prefers to handle deposits and withdrawals via BitCoin, and they offer casino games powered by multiple software providers: Real Time Gaming, Rival Powered, and WGT.
Ignition Casino also recently acquired the poker network that was previously served by Bovada. If you’re a poker player or a casino gambler from the United States, then Ignition Casino is probably a good fit. If you can’t categorize yourself into one of those categories, you’re probably better off looking elsewhere.
The most notable aspects of their business are their tight focus on the U.S. market and their poker offering. Their enthusiastic encouragement of BitCoin as a banking method is also remarkable.
American casino gamblers face 2 big hurdles when trying to play online:
Ignition Casino helps U.S. players clear both those hurdles admirably. They have an association of some kind with Bovada, which has an excellent reputation for handling customer service issues and player payouts quickly and painlessly. I’ve had an account at Bovada for years, and I’ve never had a problem with payouts or customer service issues, even though Bovada (and therefore Ignition as well) are currently paying their customers more slowly than what we're used to.
The 2nd hurdle is the banking issue. It stems from a 2006 law in the United States called UIGEA (The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act). This piece of legislation made it a federal crime to facilitate the transfer of funds to and/or from a company for the purposes of illegal gambling. This was the law that spurred most online casinos to leave the United States and focus on gamblers in other countries.
As a result, credit card companies and banks are likely to decline attempted deposits at online casinos. Getting your funds can be equally frustrating. Most U.S. banks take forever to cash a check from a foreign bank, and wire transfers incur large fees.
The casino accepts deposits via MasterCard or Visa with a minimum of $20 and a maximum of $1000. The trick is getting the transaction to go through. I’ve seen reports of varying degrees of success, but I’ve had little luck placing a deposit with a credit card personally. My bank declines the transaction every time.
But they also accept deposit via BitCoin. This is Ignition’s preferred banking method, but the concept is a little new to a lot of people. Simply put, BitCoin is a privately-created, government-neutral currency with a value determined in the free marketplace. You buy and sell BitCoins using your credit card, then you put your BitCoins in an online wallet that specializes in their currency. (An online wallet is similar to PayPal.)
You can then use BitCoin to send and receive payments to and from online casinos. This wasn’t the original intended purposes of BitCoins, by the way. But Ignition Casino is one of the earliest and most enthusiastic proponents of its use for this purpose. A deposit with BitCoin still has a minimum of $20, but the maximum is much larger--$5000.
I’d prefer more deposit and withdrawal options, but I also understand the enormous administrative difficulties companies like Ignition face when dealing with the United States market. Using BitCoin does have 2 drawbacks though:
Ignition offers a better variety of games than most other Internet casinos. It’s common for a site that specializes in online casino games to offers games from a single software provider, but Ignition offers games from 3 solid providers. The Rival Powered slots games are especially fun and unique. It’s more common for online sports book sites to offer casino games from multiple providers, and this is where Ignition’s relationship with Bovada probably comes into play.
Ignition offers several blackjack variations, but the game with the lowest house edge is called “Single Deck Blackjack”. That’s the version you should play if you’re a blackjack player—just ignore the other 21 games.
All the other casino games you’d be interested are also well-represented. Ignition offers all of the most popular forms of video poker, most in a single-play or multi-play format. They also offer table games like craps and roulette, as well as lottery games like online scratch-off games.
For years now, Americans have had a hard time finding an online poker site to accept their action. The sites that did accept U.S. players often had bad reputations and were hard to get payouts from. They also didn’t have many players at the tables, which makes it hard to find the game you want for the stakes you want to play.
Bovada was one of the best choices for a United States online poker player for years, and they’ve moved their poker room to Ignition Casino. The software and functionality remain the same, but the amount of competition there has dropped somewhat since the move. Not all the players from Bovada chose to migrate their accounts. I suspect this will right itself over time.
The variety of games is excellent, but the poker room has one huge drawback over other poker sites. You have to play anonymously. Traditionally, poker players choose a handle under which to play. You can get to know the tendencies of other players over time and use that to improve your odds against them. This is impossible to do at a table where a player is known only as “Player 1” or “Player 2”. On the other hand, if you’re not a strong player, this is probably a benefit rather than a drawback.
Like most online casinos, Ignition makes customer service available via multiple channels:
Like most online casinos, the customer service at Ignition is good but not excellent. Subtle language differences sometimes crop up in your conversations with them. I can understand how this might be an issue for them—finding an American to work their customer service queue for an hourly wage that would be appropriate would be a near-impossible task.
They do make all their customer service options available 24/7.
Author: Steve Mitchell