Mr Smith is the new name for an old face – or maybe it’s the other way around. Launched in the summer of 2014, it’s a forward-thinking refurbishment of what was previously Harry’s Casino, and this split personality runs throughout the site.
For a start, it’s heavily UK-themed, but based in Malta, complete with overseas telephone support (but a .co.uk web address…). It’s designed primarily for touchscreen devices, which can look a little odd on the desktop version of the site. And despite its relatively recent launch date, its parent company BML Group is in turn owned by Betsson AB, a major Swedish betting brand with award wins dating back to 2009.
It’s genuinely good to see something a little different in amongst all the cookie-cutter online casino sites, and Mr Smith, with its mobile-first template also used for the desktop version of the website, certainly offers an interface that differs from the norm. Large tile-like buttons get you around the site, with big font sizes suitable for the tiniest of mobile phone displays, and it can at times feel like you’re gambling via a toddler’s picture book. But the navigation is intuitive, with no game more than a couple of clicks (or taps) away, and there’s no shortage of fully fledged desktop features, including some titles that are simply not available on mobile devices, and a separate Live Casino section that can be accessed directly from the rest of the casino.
The simplicity of Mr Smith is mirrored in their approach to welcome bonuses. A no nonsense 100% matched £200 welcome bonus is on offer for new players. To take advantage of the bonus, you need to make a deposit of at least £15 and claim the offer within 60 days of registering. The wagering requirements are a fairly standard 35 times the bonus.
We can’t knock Mr Smith’s straight forward approach, with easy to find and digest terms and conditions, but we can’t help but feel they’re missing a trick with their bonuses. Mr Smith is in need of a few new bonuses to compete with the best online casino operators, but if you’re not after extravagant and plentiful bonuses then this shouldn’t be a problem.
Don’t be fooled by the simple interface; there’s a deceptively large number of games available to play at Mr Smith. Hundreds of them in fact, and the complete A-Z listing is a great way to get straight to the one you want.
There are also themed ‘collections’ on the homepage, which are a fun way to find something to suit your mood, whether you want to play a spooky horror-themed slot, something with a sci-fi or comicbook tie-in, or something especially for high rollers. Look for the mobile icon in the corner of each game’s tile if you want a title you will be able to access on your tablet or phone later.
Despite being a generally mobile-friendly site, there are some games that are specifically aimed at desktop users, and the Live Casino section is among these; find it as a homepage tab in its own right, or handily listed under L (for ‘Live’) in the A-Z games listing.
Baccarat, Roulette, Blackjack and Casino Hold’em are all available with live dealers, and you can even get to know more about your favourite dealer on a separate Meet the Girls page – just remember, it’s not a dating site. It is, however, good to see that a forward-thinking site like Mr Smith does not neglect live casino games, which are one of the other huge trends of recent years.
With such a simple interface, there’s bound to be some compromise, and the Jackpots section is one of the biggest let-downs, despite the sums of money on offer.
You’re given the choice of listing by name or popularity – but frustratingly not by jackpot size – and there’s a separate list of games with the biggest bonuses, rather than just the biggest jackpot prizes. But there’s no immediate preview of what the current jackpot is on any of the games, leaving you to make your decision based on name alone, or based on the title’s popularity with other members of the site.
Mr Smith is almost unique among online casinos in being designed first and foremost for a touch interface – visit the desktop version and you’ll see a mobile-like menu icon at the top left, and very clear and simple tile-based navigation around the different sections of the site.
Visit from a compatible mobile browser (Windows Phone users are left out in the cold as usual) and you’ll get the same general site template, with as many of the desktop games as have been made available for your mobile device.