Rating Guidelines & Principles
As a site, we're invested in making sure that our casino reviews are high quality, reliable, and provide the best possible information for players. Let's see how do we rate and write casino and game reviews on CasinoTopsOnline and the review criteria we take in consideration.
What goes into a casino review?
We always investigate and look into casinos before we place them on our site. We want them to meet a number of criteria for our users, and we want to provide a valuable service to our readers. We receive a submission of a casino or find out about great upcoming casinos, and we then investigate them, taking care to see if they meet the minimum standards for what we consider to be a good casino. So what do we really value when it comes to writing our reviews and checking if a casino is up to scratch? We've expanded further on our criteria below.
Each casino is put through a rigorous testing procedure where we look at different aspect of each site and give it a mark. We look into:
We only present and recommend online casinos that have a license from an authority with a good reputation, including:
- Malta Gaming Authority;
- UK Gambling Commission;
- Government of Gibraltar;
- Alderney Gambling Control Commission;
- Kahnawake Gaming Commission;
- Curacao eGaming;
- Casinos with options with eCogra.
These are all established bodies that regulation gaming in their jurisdictions. This means that they ensure gaming is safe, secure, and fair. They also have a list of rules and laws that casinos need to follow in order to offer games in these jurisdictions, and these might include anything from restricting bonuses to needing to be explicitly clear about their terms and conditions.
Real money online casinos must work with reliable software providers such as Microgaming, Playtech, NetEnt, Novomatic or one of the many other great companies that make games. We also evaluate whether these casinos offer instant play, mobile and download games, and if there a large range. Importantly, the games should not suffer from technical glitches or errors and should be accessible from all devices, so long as they are updated.
When we rate real money online casinos, we make sure that all popular payment methods like Visa, MasterCard, Paysafecard, Neteller, Skrill and others are available. These should be trusted payment methods and deposits and withdrawals should neither be too difficult nor insecure. Our team also pay attention to what players say about depositing money with the casino, and the range of options available to users.
The customer service options in the casino should be maintained to a high standard and easily accessible for all customers. They should be transparent and available if possible 24/7. A range of options being available also counts in their favour, as a site offering livechat, phone, and email is offering a trifecta of great options. Online casinos should offer quick, friendly, high quality support around the clock. We also test live chat and customer service over the phone, for which we submit a number of special requests.
If these are not answered competently, then the rating of customer service in the casino will be worse.
We check whether online casinos comply with fair play guidelines, such as Play Check or Cash Check. The best online casinos should be rated by independent organizations like eCogra, and the monthly payout percentages should be publicly available. All the games which they offer on the site should also have their RTP percentages easily available online, either on the site of the provider or on another website which reviews slot games (such as our own). How do we ensure that?
- We try the game ourselves;
- We list only reputable providers;
- We read what our customers are saying;
- We know the casino industry.
Winnings & Fast Payouts
Finally, we also play a wide range of online games before we give our rating. These include slots, table games and other alternatives. As soon as we have had our fun, we have our winnings paid out so that we can also evaluate the payout times for online casinos. In our reviews, we pay attention to quick payouts and whether they are processed on weekends.
Given the fact that the standard for payouts is for them to be processed automatically or within 24 hours, any delays beyond that (which aren't related to the recipient bank) are considered to be a negative mark for the casino.
Bonuses and offers
Every casino on our website is checked for good bonuses and offers for both new players and existing customers. We also pay attention to exclusive VIP programs for high rollers. A bonus is good in our books when it's clear what's on offer, the terms and conditions are easily accessible, and it's available for all players (barring any legal or licensing requirements). Loyalty programs should give good rewards at a reasonable rate, and VIP programs should be worth it, offering the most loyal players a great return on their dedication to one site.
Responsible Gambling & Credit Protection
We only judge casinos to be reliable if they are properly licenced, use up-to-date security on their site, and have robust security in place to protect player's details and payment information. In addition to this, a dedication to responsible gambling measures that all well-rated online casinos on our website have strict rules to protect against problematic behaviour in gambling and offer options such as the temporary or permanent blocking of your own account, blocking of withdrawals, limits on deposits and other options.
They should also provide links or assistance to gambling addiction helplines and support groups.
Online casinos rated and approved
If the online casino has been approved in all of the above criteria, we will give you a final grade and create a thorough review where we analyse each point to weigh up the pros and cons. Casinos are checked periodically, and the ratings are adjusted accordingly if and when we receive new information. We believe that honesty and transparency are particularly important, which is why we describe the good and bad sides of every casino, as well as list as much information as we can give to help players.
What makes a bad casino?
Sometimes, a casino isn't quite what it's cracked up to be. We don't want to list any casinos on our site which might give users a negative experience, which is why we're so keen to get feedback from users about their own site experience. We mostly consider these points to be a black mark against a casino:
- Poor customer support;
- Lack of transparency;
- Not licensed correctly;
- Slower than normal withdrawals;
- Unclear terms and conditions.
These are all taken into account when we review, and if we deem any points to make a casino unsafe, insecure, or just not top quality, then we don't include it. If you are a casino owner and you want to list your casino with us, drop us a line.