Honest Online Casino Reviews
There are a lot of online casinos in the market today, and each one is likely to have several online reviews. This can make it hard to know which sites or reviewers you should trust.
For this reason, we decided to write this article, which will run you through every step of our review process. Our guide will show you:
- How we write casino reviews
- Why you can trust ours above most others
- What we look for in a great online casino
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What We Look at in a Casino Review
We start the process many months, or even years, before the first word hits the page by hiring the right writers.
Many casino review sites try to get their content as cheaply and quickly as possible. This includes using generic ‘content mill’ providers, hiring freelancers who don’t speak perfect English or only possess a surface knowledge of online casino gaming.
This can lead to casino reviews that are clunky and difficult to read, and you might miss out on some of the most important information.
Once we have a suitable expert writer onboard, they follow these steps to create a comprehensive casino review.
First, we take a quick look at the casino homepage. We assess the aesthetics, functionality, and user experience. Menu design, image choices, visual themes – we look at all of this in just a few well-spent minutes.
It’s also important to see which games, promotions, and features the casino chooses to put on the landing page. This shows us what aspects of the site they are most proud of and what they want to keep less visible.
Licensing and Security
Next, we complete in-depth research. We look up customer feedback on various online forums, as well as a casino’s ownership records on sites such as Companies House in the UK.
From here, we can find out who owns the casino, whether it operates any other sites, and any licensing information provided by parent companies.
This step is important as it allows us to weed out casinos that are not secure or those run by untrustworthy individuals early in the process.
A fully licensed, secure, and reputable place to play is the bare minimum you want from an online casino. Thus, we regularly drop unsuitable sites from our list at this point.
Welcome Bonuses & Terms
Once we’ve established that a site is among the majority of safe and above-board online casinos, we can get down to the attractive stuff for you – the player.
Welcome bonuses are the tool of choice for many casinos looking to bring in new players. Some players get extreme value from them, while others don’t but still continue to play at the casino.
This is a win-win situation for both parties. You get the opportunity to start your casino experience with some free games or a boost to your bankroll, and the casinos get to build up their customer base.
There are four welcome bonus types:
- Deposit-matches or deposit-locked free spins
- No-deposit bonus cash or free spins
- Free bets
- Free spins
We run through these in more detail in any individual review or on one of our specific bonus pages dedicated to this topic.
No-deposit bonuses are typically smaller in value, but you can obtain them without putting any of your own funds down. Deposit-match bonuses can reach $500 or more (or your own currency equivalent) but often come with more restrictive terms, such as wagering requirements or maximum wins.
Our casino reviewers go straight to these offers’ terms and conditions and sift through the small print. We find the most valuable and straightforward promotions that give you the best chance at coming out a winner.
With many years of experience, our team knows what clauses and options you need to look out for to ensure you choose the right bonus for your needs.
We don’t want you to get stung by 75x wagering requirements on $5 of free money or end up stuck playing slots to clear your bonus win terms when you want to be playing blackjack with your new winnings.
So, whether you’re a high-rolling slot player or a lower-budget live roulette fan, we’re here to help you select the right offer.
Banking Options & Withdrawal Speeds
A casino can offer all the greatest bonuses in the world, but that isn’t enough if they limit withdrawals to $20 at a time, charge you 15%, and make you wait two weeks for the money to arrive in your account.
Our reviewers look at the stated withdrawal time and compare it to how long it takes in reality. A great casino banking system should complete PayPal or other e-wallet withdrawals in less than 24-hours and process bank card withdrawals within five days.
There should be no charges for withdrawals and a high weekly or monthly limit. We also check whether any limits apply to progressive jackpot wins.
For example, imagine you lucked out and won millions on NetEnt’s Age of Gods or Microgaming’s Mega Moolah, only to find the casino imposes a $10,000 monthly withdrawal limit. In that case, it would take you nearly nine years to completely withdraw a $1 million win.
We can help you avoid situations like these before they arise by expertly analyzing every aspect of a casino’s banking system and then using it to see if they stick to their word.
Game Collection (Slots, Table Games, Live Casino)
A varied game collection is the most important factor for many players. However, as experts, we know that other things come first – but a good casino should never skimp on their game selection either.
A top-tier online casino should feature:
- At least several hundred slots, including licensed pop culture games, progressive jackpot titles, and traditional three-reel games from various developers.
- Dozens of table games, including casino classics such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and more.
- Video poker terminals, especially in North American markets.
- A live casino section, usually powered by Evolution Gaming or NetEnt, that includes live-streamed blackjack, roulette, and other games.
All games should be organized efficiently into categories so that you can find your preferred titles quickly and easily. A search option is the minimum requirement, and a filter menu is a nice extra feature.
Many modern online casinos also let you favorite your chosen games to return to them every time you log in with just one click. This is a useful feature that we’ll always point out when we see it.
Lastly, if you’re a fan of Keno, Sic-Bo, Craps, or other lesser-known titles in the online world, you can rest assured knowing we’ll always discuss them when a casino chooses to feature them.
These might not be the most popular games, but as a dedicated fan, you deserve to be able to play them a top-tier online site – just like slots or blackjack fans do.
Mobile Casino Options
In the modern market, every average or top-tier online casino should be accessible on mobile devices. A simple but optimized mobile browsing experience is enough for most players.
Whether it’s on a larger tablet screen or a budget smartphone, casino gaming shouldn’t be too intensive for your average modern device. If you start running the latest big-budget video slots with full-screen special effects, you might see some lag on an older device. However, most of the time, you should be perfectly fine.
Our reviewers make sure that the site loads correctly on various screen sizes. We also test for user experience snags, such as fiddly buttons to hit on a touch screen or overly complicated menus.
Lastly, some bonuses are exclusive to mobile players. You can often claim them if you’re already an existing customer of the casino’s desktop version. Check out our no-deposit bonus page for a few tips on how this works.
Loyalty Schemes, Tournaments, and Other Promotions
At the very best online casinos, your free stuff doesn’t start and end with the welcome offers. Many casino sites provide weekly or monthly promotions, loyalty rewards, and special tournaments for slots or live casino players.
These promotions can include:
- Point-based loyalty systems that can offer you free spins, cashback, prize wheel spins, raffle tickets, physical prizes, and even luxuries such as VIP account managers and holidays if you’re a high-roller.
- Regular promotions such as “pull three blackjacks in one weekend” or “play 100 spins on a specific game and get another 100 for free.” The possibilities of such promotions are only limited by the casino’s marketing team’s imagination.
- Tournaments typically revolve around the highest turnover in a particular time frame. These are difficult for low-rolling or even average players to win.
- Luckily, some casino tournaments run off the highest multiplier wins or other metrics, which can balance the field.
- Customer Support & Problem Gambling Tools
This is typically the last thing our reviewers look at, but it’s by no means the least important.
At a great online casino, there should be no need to contact customer support until this step in the process.
Of course, sometimes these things are unavoidable. However, if we have a reason or question to ask the casino’s support team, then our reviewer always explains why in their review.
If not, we make something up to test out the various methods of contacting support and see how efficient and quick their replies are.
Most casinos offer 24/7 live chat support. If a casino doesn’t feature this, we’ll let you know.
Email support can be vital for more complex queries or problems, and the best casinos should reply within one hour.
In the last part of this section, we see what opt-out methods a casino offers for those who are concerned they’re tempted to gamble more than they can afford. These methods should include a simple way to permanently or temporarily shut your account, as well as monthly or weekly deposit limits for those who need them.
Just because our reviewer had a good experience at a casino doesn’t mean that every other player online shares that opinion. This is especially true for players who deposit small but get lucky and win big.
Most of the time, we can sniff a bad casino out in the first stages of our review. However, it’s important we take this last step to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.
We talk to our reviewer friends and look at customer feedback reports to gain a wider picture of what the casino is like for everyone.
We don’t discard a site for one bad casino review, though. After all, mistakes happen, and someone might even hold a grudge after going on a losing streak.
However, a pattern of bad reviews and negative opinions is something we always take into account. We aren’t afraid to drop a casino from our site if it doesn’t live up to the high standards that we (and you) expect from them.
Local casino reviews
However, if you’re not from any of those countries don’t worry. On this page you find reviews for international casinos, accepting players from all around the world.
Choosing the Right Casino for You
Some casinos focus on mobile play with lots of slots. Others offer unique promotions or rewards and more live casino or table games.
Some sites might have no table games at all but feature a brilliant no-deposit free spins offer to hit the reels with.
Whether you’re a live blackjack player who needs PayPal payments or a bonus-hunting jackpot slot chaser who likes to ask a lot of questions of customer support, we’ll always have you covered with a couple of great recommendations.
5 Key Things We’ll Tell You That You Need to Know
- Bonus terms – including any hidden clauses
- True withdrawal speed
- Rare, unusual, or underrated games
- Available jackpots
- What other players are saying about the casino
The answer depends on your preferences, location, and gameplay style. If you’re a high-rolling blackjack player from New Jersey, USA, for example, you’ll get a different answer than a budget slots player from London in the United Kingdom.
Above, we outlined how to narrow your selections down by looking at various crucial factors. However, if you want to choose a single best casino, you’ll need to take a look at our comprehensive list of top sites and decide for yourself.
A strong license, well-known third-party partners (in both games and banking selection methods), and a good reputation with existing players are three of the most important things.
Recognized licenses include the United Kingdom Gambling Commission or the Maltese Gaming Authority for European customers, and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement or the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for US players in those states.
No-deposit bonuses are the most sought after online, although their value can vary.
Other than that, there’s no strict answer to this question. Our casino reviewers look at a range of factors, including potential value, conditions and requirements, and the array of games on which you can use the bonus.
Check out the bonus section in each of our reviews for a rundown of what we think, or take a look at our dedicated casino bonuses page for our selection of the best available bonuses.
Anywhere from $0.01 on some of the lowest-budget slots all the way up to multi-million dollar jackpots on big-money progressive titles like Divine Fortune or Mega Moolah.
In table games and at the live casino, it’s a potential $3-10 per win at the minimum bet levels. This goes up to $6000-10,000 per hand or spin at the highest-rolling tables.
Of course, you could lose all your money, too. However, as we see it, that’s part of the thrill – after all, casino gaming is called gambling for a reason.