How Do We Rate Online Casinos?

With the recent increase of online casinos popping up all over the web, it's become more urgent to test every casino and to ensure that what you see is what you get. We check every aspect of online casinos so that you don't have to do it on your own.

Most online casinos have been around for many years and have outstanding track records and thousands of happy customers. Unfortunately, as with all things, there is a wrong side to it as well. Many online hackers and trawlers are continually trying to steal your personal information, especially when you make online payments.

That's where we come in. Our team tests a casino’s online payment systems, software providers, usability, offers and promotions, mobile apps, and much more to be able to give you an honest recommendation and review.

We don’t receive any payment from any online casinos to promote its brand, so you can rest assured that our opinions are unbiased.

Casino Safety and Reputation

Checking online casino license

It's step one in verifying the trustworthiness of any online casino. If an online casino doesn't publish its license on its website, it sets off warning bells. For an online casino to get a high safety rate from us, it has to be licensed by reputable gambling regulators such as, for example, the Malta Gaming Authority or the UK Gambling Commission.

Are casinos regulated by a reputable, independent player protection authority?

Online casinos must be audited regularly and certified as delivering fair gaming practices. This is to safeguard all customers from any abuse, especially vulnerable users. eCogra is the leading authority in this field, and any online casino that is regulated by them already scores a high rate from us for safety and security.

Availability of a current SSL certificate

An SSL certificate is a warranty that the online casino encrypts all information shared on its platform. The SSL certificate must be maintained and upgraded when needed. If a governing body like eCogra regulates an online casino, it's also sure to have these system validations and certifications in place to pass its audits.

What do players on independent review platforms and forums say?

It's one of the fastest ways to see if an online casino has something specific that concerns us. If a casino tends to withhold payments unnecessarily, this is where you'll read about it. It's essential to keep in mind that some online complaints are not always valid. For this reason, we trust only established independent consumer sites and forums for feedback.

Games and Software

The variety of games

When investigating the range of casino games offered, our team looks for quantity as well as quality. For a comprehensive range, a casino should include:

  • A sportsbook offering various sports types, odds, and betting types.
  • Slots – a variety of themes, paylines, reels, min/max bet, risk features, bonus games, and free spins are what we're looking for here. It should also preferably have a few slots offering a progressive jackpot.
  • Table games should include at least poker, video poker, Blackjack, Roulette, and Baccarat.
  • Live casino games are on the rise, and an online casino that offers a variety of live tables by well-known software providers gets additional points in our rating.

Is there a free game mode?

The best software providers and online casinos offer all or at least some of its games in a free mode for you to try out before making a deposit or a real money wager. It helps you decide whether a specific game is what you like or not. It also makes it easier for you to enjoy the game when your bankroll is low.

The free mode will typically offer several free spins or free bets and then prompt you to make a deposit. But there are online casinos that provide a range of games that will never inspire you to deposit or wager. These are often part of an anti-addiction campaign and are extremely helpful when people want to experience a part of the fun and excitement but not risk real money.

Which software developers are available?

To get our approval, an online casino must have a wide variety of well-known software providers available on its platform. We'll be looking to find software providers like Microgaming, NetEnt, Pragmatic Play, Quickspin, Playson, Yggdrasil, Evolution Gaming, and Playtech.

Casinos who offer only a few or unknown software providers don't sit well with us, as its limited game variety will frustrate players. The more names on its list of providers, the higher the score from our team. It's also essential that the casino offers specialised games. In this regard, we'll be looking at live casinos by Evolution Gaming or NetEnt to satisfy our high standards.

Are there games to download, and what are their features?

Most of the big names in online casinos have developed apps to download for Android and iOS. What we look for here is whether the app offers the same gameplay experience and ease of use. When a provider adds additional features like free spins, bonus games, or bigger welcome bonuses to its app, it will rate higher.

Is it convenient to play in a web browser?

If the software used is in HTML5 and users can seamlessly cross over to playing directly from their mobile browsers, it will get another few points from our team. We check for mobile compatibility here, and the games must adapt to the screen and still look and feel the same as on your PC and laptop without losing any usability or features.

Payment Methods

What deposit/withdrawal methods are available?

We want to see that you'll be able to make deposits and withdrawals through a wide selection of trusted payment systems. With cryptocurrencies and PayPal also on the rise, a casino should offer both as a payment method. There are also a variety of e-wallet and prepaid debit card solutions that should be available on an online casino’s platform. The more payment solutions an online casino offers, the higher it will score with us.

How quickly can I deposit/withdraw funds?

What we’re looking for here are instant deposit methods that are fee-free. Understandably, bank transfers take time, but the online casino should offer support systems to assist you with getting the funds on your casino account as soon as possible.

The integration should be seamless. When you make an electronic payment, the process should be automated; your funds should be available in your casino account immediately. The same standards apply for withdrawals. It raises red flags if an online casino wastes time in paying out winnings.

How easy is it to withdraw money to your bank account?

It's the ultimate test of an online casino's trustworthiness in our books. We ensure it follows the right protocols and doesn't waste time paying over your winnings to your bank account. Withdrawal time to your bank account shouldn't take longer than the acceptable payment system timeframes.

Are financial transactions safe?

Once again, our team will scrutinise the systems of an online casino. Here we will look at valid SSL certificates and the software that powers the online casino payment systems. All processes must be encrypted with the latest technology that'll ensure a player’s payment information remains safe.

It's also essential that the casino is well regulated by institutions, like eCogra, that perform regular system audits. You will then be ensured that all financial practices are above board, and the user's personal information isn't compromised.

What are the withdrawal and deposit limits?

We look at the minimum and maximum deposit and withdrawal amount allowed by an online casino. The ratio must be a low deposit and high withdrawal limits. Many of the online casinos offer deposit minimums as low as £5, making it accessible to a large number of players.

For withdrawals, our team wants to see that an online casino isn't making it difficult for you to withdraw winnings by forcing low withdrawal limits as part of its terms and conditions. You should be able to have daily, weekly, and monthly withdrawal limits.

The Appearance Of The Website

Clear and simple navigation on the site

You must find a user-friendly site that shows you exactly what it offers and where to find it. The menu must be divided in the taskbar for players to choose the games they want to play. Plus, when you select a specific game type, it mustn't be repetitive games of other kinds just to make the screen look full.

When you choose a game, the link must seamlessly direct to it and allow you to start playing immediately. We'll also check that there are no unnecessary pop-ups while you play. The only pop-ups tolerated will be special features and bonus offers.

Availability of different language versions

We want to see that the website is translated and offered in several languages, especially for the regions that are allowed to participate on the site. It'll score high if we can find that you may select your language of preference when signing up or registering your account. Even though English is the predominant language for all online casinos, the more languages a casino offers, the more we'll recommend it.

Graphics and design

As online gaming involves many hours of staring at a screen, it's vital to us that you'll have an excellent gameplay experience while also being entertained. High-quality graphics, animations, and complete design of the website will rate high if it offers you that. 3D animations welcoming a player is an added point. Online gambling and gaming is an art form and should be entertaining. Our team will want to see that an online casino has put thought and quality into the design of its site.

Quality of the game

It's all about ease of use and game selection. If an online casino has high-quality software providers on its site, we'll know that you can expect a seamless quality and enjoyable time using this casino’s platform. We also look at how they present the games to you, ease of selection and classification of the game types. It must offer an overall top-notch experience for you.

Bonuses and Promotions

Does the casino provide a welcome bonus?

We want to see that an online casino offers generous welcome or sign-up bonuses. It can be presented in many various ways and should cover all the game types on a casino’s platform. If you're signing on to make a sports bet, we'll want to know that it has game-specific bonuses for you to select from, as each game type has different betting styles and odds.

Our team will want to see a welcome bonus well-specified and easy to understand and select. For sports betting, we'll look for free bets bonuses. It will typically match your first deposit up to a certain amount in free bets. For slots and table game players, it should offer a match up on your deposit amount and free spins.

What are the conditions for receiving the bonus?

It doesn't help if a casino offers players what looks like an incredible welcome bonus but makes it impossible for players to withdraw their winnings from it or causes delays in withdrawal times. All welcome offers come with wagering requirements, and we support that to prevent user abuse. But there should be reasonable requirements that allow you to enjoy the free bets or spins without affecting withdrawal times on winnings made from your deposit.

It should not force players to make unnecessary high volumes of bets or spins. In the case of sports betting, we'll want to see that the timeframe for settling your first bet to claim your bonus is not excessive.

Are there any bonuses for regular players in the casino?

It's an excellent way to keep your business, and we'll look at the types of promotions a casino offers to keep you coming back again. It could be weekend reload bonuses or free spins. Another thing our team will look at is live tournaments provided. It's a great way of rewarding a casino’s players with an interactive way of socialising with other like-minded players and paying them with tournament prize money up for grabs.

Is there a VIP and regular player bonus programme?

It's a great way to see how much a casino values its players. We will look at how difficult it is to climb the ladder to the top tier of the VIP programme and how a casino rewards you for every new level or line. It should preferably be an automated process happening while you play, and that informs you every time you've levelled up.

Playing On Mobile Phones

Is there a mobile version of the site?

Even though not all online casinos have a mobile app for download, we'll test if it has an HTML5 design for you to play it directly from your mobile browser. It's also important that the version you can access from a mobile browser seamlessly offers the same features and look, and usability as the desktop version. You’ll see it all in our reviews.

Does the casino have its own mobile application?

If a casino has a mobile application for download, we'll test it to make sure that the offering remains the same, or is better than the desktop version. It's a great way to reward players for downloading the app, and we'll make sure there's no additional cost involved to you for switching to the application, besides for your standard deposit into your casino account. If there's a hidden cost, we'll report on it in our reviews.

What Don't We do When Writing Casino Reviews?

We don't sell rankings

For you to trust us, we'll make sure that our reviews are in line with your experience. It's important to us that you believe what we say, and as such, we don't sell any rankings to casinos being reviewed. Our team bases their opinion on their own experience, and we give straightforward ratings. Because we don't sell, we can tell the truth.

We don't ignore the negative

If during our review, we find a negative issue with the casino provider, we'll tell you. We aim to remain unbiased with all reviews to remain a trusted provider within the online community.

We don't forget to update the rankings

We continually update our reviews. If a specific casino had a negative we reported on, we'd keep on following up, and if the casino resolves the issue, we'll update our official review accordingly. The same goes for the perfect scores. If we come across a specific complaint, we'll follow up and cover this in our review.

Summary

As you can see, our team follows a strict and thorough outline when reviewing online casinos. We are straightforward, and you can trust what you read. Head over to our review section to safely select one of our highly recommended casinos for a few hours of fun and entertainment.