How to Recognise Fake Reviews
It doesn’t take a special skill set to spot a casino review written by a total newbie in gambling. However, when you’re pressed for time, you might glance through a couple of reviews without paying attention to small details and decide to play at the casino even if these reviews have hidden motives.
The rule of thumb is not to trust reviews that seem too general and too-good-to-be-true. Make sure they contain a lot of relevant details confirmed with screenshots.
If the review includes screenshots that seem to fit the text, in all probability its writer invested enough time and energy into its creation.
All my reviews are rich in high-quality screenshots to give you a clear picture of what exactly you can expect after signing up. I regularly get back to my old reviews to keep them updated, so you can hardly find any misleading details there.
Moreover, I never hide anything negative about the casino under review. If customer support leaves much to be desired, I’ll mention it. All I care about is providing you with unbiased details about the casino. How does it work? I choose the gambling venue that I personally find interesting, sign up, deposit some money, start playing, and take a look around. When I feel I know what kind of experience the casino provides to its players, I share my findings with you.
Evaluating Online Casinos: Six Aspects I Check
The basic things players want to know about the casino before giving it a go are the following:
- Commitment to safe gambling practices
- Supported banking methods and transaction fees if any
- Casino software providers
- Bonuses, loyalty programs, and regular promotions
- Mobile casino experience
- The quality of customer support service
These six aspects are covered exhaustively in my casino reviews, although their order can vary.
Let me explain each of them in detail.
1. Get to know if the casino is safe
Lucrative welcome offers, VIP perks, thrilling slots with high RTP, and even catching a lucky streak won’t matter at all if the casino doesn’t let you withdraw your winnings. Or if your personal data gets compromised due to insufficient security measures taken by the casino. You won’t care about the quality of their customer support if their software is rigged. That’s why the reliability of the casino should be checked in the first place.
Many players don’t bother checking whether a new casino of their choice is properly licensed. Staying clear of casinos that operate with no license is a must. A license from reliable regulatory bodies is a guarantee that a casino has managed to meet certain criteria and adheres to the principles of fair play. Obtaining a license is typically a long process that involves a lot of steps to ensure the casino isn’t rigged and that all payments are administered properly. Not only do they typically run background checks on the casino owners, but they also check whether all games are random.
For example, UKGC and MGA licenses are considered to be trustworthy. If any issues arise and the casino seems to be unwilling to do anything about it, you can complain to the regulator and seek justice. If the casino is operating under the license of Costa Rica or Panama, you’re highly unlikely to win in case of any disputes.
eCOGRA and the Likes
To demonstrate its reliability, a good casino has a seal of approval from eCOGRA and/or other renowned testing agencies (GLI, iTech Labs, Technical System Testing, etc.) on their home page. However, if you see the eCOGRA logo on the casino website, it should be linked to a document with the licensee’s information. If there is no link, in all probability it’s nothing other but a fake claim.
The casino is considered to be a reputable one if it has been operating for at least a few years, its proprietor owns a couple of renowned casino brands and takes the trouble of resolving issues with players in a timely manner. Also, there shouldn't be scandals associated with this casino and players’ feedback must be above average. If it’s a rogue casino, there will be traces of its indecent practices online.
Safe banking and hassle-free withdrawals as well as personal data protection are fundamental aspects of a great casino experience.
Big casino operators offer as many payment methods as possible to ensure that players won’t go elsewhere in case their preferred banking option isn’t available. Players should be able to pay using all popular eWallets, prepaid cards, credit and debit cards, etc.
When evaluating the casino, I give my readers a list of all deposit & withdrawal options available.
This is what you need to know about withdrawals:
- Banking options available for withdrawals are less numerous than deposit methods.
- Unlike deposits that are processed in seconds or minutes, it might take a week to cash out your winnings.
- There might be extra fees (it depends on the banking method of your choice).
- Here is one more thing: it’s totally fine if you’re asked to go through the KYC procedure before your first cashout, but it should be transparent and it shouldn’t take ages. It’s a common scam when rogue casinos keep asking for more documents to put off the verification process.
3. Games and Software Providers
The number of casino slots is increasing with every passing year. Dozens of new casino games from the giants of the gambling industry are launched each month. Decent casinos are powered by iGaming platforms that cooperate with multiple software providers and can guarantee a huge choice of games for any taste.
Selection of Games
As the majority of players are slot enthusiasts, most casinos generally have hundreds of such games in their selection. You can choose between classic three-reel slots, video slots of all kinds, and progressives. Bingo, Keno, scratch cards and the like don’t enjoy such popularity, but usually, they are also present in any game selection.
As for table games such as Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, or Poker games, their choice might not be so varied in some casinos.
Live dealer games are not rare, but it’s a shame that some casinos don’t offer them at all. When you want to have a break from playing slots, you might want to try something new. If the casino lacks such games, you might wish to go to some other place with a better variety of games.
Even though it’s a totally different experience, some casinos can boast sports betting functionality. If this is your thing, you will find the casino with a Sportsbook section.
Variety is great, and many casinos try to add games from as many providers as they can afford. If you see the most renowned titles (especially progressive jackpots) from top gaming software providers, it can be interpreted as a good sign. Top companies try to stay away from casinos with a tarnished reputation. New software companies are worth your attention as they might have unique features and an impressive design, but you’d better try them out in the casino you can trust.
4. Casino Bonuses
Of all types of casino players, bonus hunters are probably the most numerous. After all, who doesn’t like freebies? Some online casinos even offer such lucrative bonuses that they risk losing a big chunk of their profits just to attract as many players as possible and get to a more considerate bonus policy later on. It seems to be a nice move as many players view bonuses as their top criterion when choosing a new casino. Beating the casino isn’t an easy task, so when they offer you an edge in the form of match bonuses, cashbacks, and free spins, it’s worth a gander.
Have you ever encountered an online casino that wouldn’t offer a welcome bonus to new players? Some are stingy and some are suspiciously generous when it comes to this type of bonus, but everyone has a welcome offer. Irish casino players can expect a match bonus ranging from 50% to 200% on their first deposit, sometimes with a varying amount of free spins on top, typically on a well-known slot with an average RTP. No deposit bonuses as a welcome offer are rare, but they do exist.
All these offers sound enticing, but you’re strongly recommended to pay attention to their terms, especially the wagering requirements. In my reviews, I always mention any important nuances related to welcome bonus terms. Some casino bonuses come with such strict terms (more than 40x) that it doesn’t make sense to claim them.
However, any casino can change the bonus terms at any given moment without prior notice so I would advise you to carefully read all requirements before taking a bonus.
Other bonuses and promotions
I include the information about regular promotions run by the casino under review, but don’t forget that there can be special holiday bonuses and unexpected perks announced by the casino. If you’re hunting for bonuses, check the promo section of the casino from time to time and subscribe to their newsletter as there might be exclusive email offers from time to time.
If you need more freebies, look for casinos with a generous VIP or Loyalty program for regular players. As a rule, the more money you spend at their casino, the more niceties they will be willing to offer you, from free spins to gifts and even invitations to special events.
5. Mobile Gambling
Many slot enthusiasts prefer playing on the go. It matters much whether the casino website was created with the mobile experience in mind or not. Here are the telltale signs that the mobile version of the casino version is superb:
- You can easily access any casino game
- The layout looks good on any mobile devices
- You’re frustrated by frequent freezes
- It’s easy to navigate
- You encounter no connection issues as you play
6. Customer Service Quality
Issues might arise at any point, from claiming your welcome bonus or withdrawing your winnings. If the casino customer support fails to assist you with your query, you will probably regret having registered at that casino.
Good casino websites offer several communication channels for players. Ideally, you should be able to contact a customer support rep via phone, live chat, or email. Still, if there is nothing else but live chat, it’s totally fine as long as waiting times are minimal and it’s available 24/7.
The staff must be friendly and speak English fluently.
Other Things to Consider
If you want nothing other than a stellar gaming experience, make sure you check additional things that might make a real difference:
- website interface
- attractive design
- website usability
- adequate terms and high withdrawal limits
- availability of slots in demo mode
There is always something you will dislike about a casino, which is why perfect casinos are non-existent. However, when things go wrong, a casino deserves to be blacklisted. Some of the reasons include data breaches, rigged gaming software, scamming players out of their money, etc. These things are unacceptable, and if I find evidence that a casino is rogue, I place it on my blacklist. Also, I use other sources to find whether the casino is blacklisted by top gambling portals.
When evaluating a casino, I do a lot of preliminary research and then form my own opinion by playing there myself. I cover the most important aspects of the casino experience, providing my readers with screenshots and GIFs as I explore the website. I highlight casino advantages and warn you about drawbacks. Hopefully, you will find my reviews useful when you’re on the lookout for a new online gambling destination.
Catch your lucky streak!