How To Find First-Hand Online Casino Reviews
Online casino reviews are a dime a dozen today, but finding independent and unbiased reviews can be tricky. Here’s our guide to help with the process.
Ask any seasoned punter, and they’ll most likely tell you that nothing can replace the feeling of spending time in a brick-and-mortar casino. Online casino reviews of today differ from the reviews of old. Back in the day, one focused on the prestigious atmosphere of physical roulette tables, slot machines, in-person dealers, and the rush of practicing your poker face in front of living opponents.
But technology has been changing the casino experience for a while now. However, therein lies the problem: how does one discern which casino reviews are authoritative and unbiased? In other words, how do you find real value in a world where everyone is trying to sell you something everywhere you turn?
We’re aware of this problem, which is why we thought it’d be a good idea to provide you with an easy solution. Here’s how to find first-hand casino reviews effortlessly.
Remember: you won’t find a single answer that provides a comprehensive way to determine if a review is genuine. More often than not, it would be best if you looked for a combination of several aspects. Here is the bare minimum an online review should contain to ensure you’re looking at a thoroughly-researched and adequately put together piece of text:
- Wagering requirements/terms & conditions
- Free spins, deposits & other offers
- Loyalty/VIP programs
- Licensing information (a must in all online casino reviews).
There is no doubt that the online gambling industry is similarly generous as its land-based counterpart. However, you must remember that both industries aim to earn a profit to continue to operate. In other words, neither industry can survive if it thoughtlessly gives money away to players.
Keep in mind that most (and usually, all) online casino bonuses typically include certain conditions or restrictions. However, second-hand gambling reviews usually either glance over or fail to keep their respective casino’s wagering requirements and other restrictions up-to-date.
Why are wagering requirements essential? A wagering requirement tells players the necessary turnover they must achieve before receiving and cashing out the advertised bonus amount.
Here’s a quick example: imagine you see that there’s a 30x wagering requirement on a $200 bonus. What this condition means for you is that you must bet at least $6,000 before you can claim (or withdraw) whatever remains of the $200 bonus.
Wagering requirements are one of the most complicated things to understand for newbie punters. Regardless, the unwritten rule is that you should avoid any casino with a wagering requirement of more than 25x the full amount (deposit + bonus) or 40x the bonus amount. Similarly, take online casino reviews that don’t mention WR information with a grain of salt (or not at all).
Free spins are the casino’s way of thanking players for joining/depositing funds and serve to encourage players to continue betting real money. However, always remember that nothing is available for free. While it may appear you are getting free spins for slot games out of the kindness of the casino team’s heart, you’d be wise to think twice.
Browsing through a casino review online that states the awesomeness of the fact that you’re getting free offers but fails to mention what you have to do to benefit from them warrants caution. Why? The logic behind such thinking is straightforward and one we’ve previously mentioned: the casino would go out of business if it gave free benefits to players all the time.
Therefore, an authoritative and unbiased casino review should dig beneath the surface and be thorough in providing objective information to readers. In other words, look out for the welcome bonus package when choosing an online casino.
Simultaneously, never lose sight of the fact that if something looks too good (or lucrative) to be true, it probably is. Feel free to be happy about the chance to win big. Just remember to do so with reservations, which is something the casino review should continuously point out.
Why should a first-hand casino review explore an operator’s VIP or loyalty program? Because the goal of a review is to provide good informational value to readers and showcase casino features that might be interesting to players.
It’s common to encounter online gambling sites with loyalty programs in place that reward players for playing real money games. As the name often implies, VIP programs cater more to high-profile players, commonly known as “high-rollers.” These players mostly find the appeal of such programs in lucrative cash returns.
On the other hand, small-time players prefer the fun element of such programs. Punters progress through different levels and earn more modest but equally exciting rewards. This entertainment element further complements the online casino experience, making loyalty programs a must-have in any reputable, first-hand casino review.
Last but not least, self-respecting online casino reviews must contain licensing and regulatory information. Due to international gambling industry regulations, each online casino must adhere to and obtain a gambling license from governmental or independent authorities.
These licenses regulate everything from payment processing and customer support to game fairness and player disputes. In the early days of the online gambling industry, numerous casinos purposely and intentionally misled players into losing money and going into debt.
Such predatory practices are now mostly a thing of the past, but it still pays to be vigilant. If you’re interested in a specific casino, the review of which does not contain licensing information, you should probably steer clear of that operator. On the other hand, casinos with the UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gambling Authority, or the Gibraltar Gambling Commission license are usually a safe bet (pun intended).
It’s easy to feel confused when trying to decipher whether an online casino you’re interested in feels like the right choice. Casino reviews are an excellent way to gain more confidence and information about an operator, making the decision easier. Remember – take your time and be thorough in your research.
Once you feel comfortable that several online casino reviews provide authoritative and unbiased information about an operator and that they all offer similar (identical) conclusions, take things slow and play responsibly. Good luck!