Rating Guidelines – How The Casino Wizard Reviews & Ratings Are Made
Creating a casino review is far more difficult than what meets the eye – and especially so when the bar is set as high as it is in The Casino Wizard. We strive to create the finest reviews in the industry and, to do it, we follow a list of rather specific fool-proof steps that help us create what we call our “ultimate casino reviews”.
Reviewing Process – Creating a Casino Review
The list of steps that we follow to write casino reviews is rather varied and, most importantly, dynamic. Even though we have our so-called “backbone” review structure, our experience lets us know how different some casinos could be from what’s considered to be the industry’s norm.
In response to such casinos, we are flexible with the reviewing process that we follow. Such dynamism is only possible because of our experience in the industry; as players, we know what we want to see in a casino and, therefore, we know what to tell you about it regardless of how different a site is from the rest.
This is the backbone process of writing a casino review:
- Run a Full-on Background Check: An online casino is only as reliable as its operator. We always run a full background check on what the casino operator does and their current position within the industry. When recommending casinos operated by a newcomer, we run an even deeper background check.
- Give the Casino a Test Run: Before registering in an online casino, we give the site a test run. We visit the site on mobile, we play games if the casino allows us to do it for free, and we browse every section of the casino to get a good feel of how the site works. In this step, we also check the bonuses and the site's T&Cs.
- Create an Account: Once we’re acquainted with the site and sure that it’s a reliable gambling website, we sign-up for the casino and verify our account. We make sure that our account is fully operational before we continue with the review.
- Get a Feel of the Mobile Experience: After creating an account, we open up the casino on our phone to check how it works, download the app if it has one, and visit all possible sections of the site to create a thorough analysis of its mobile interface. We keep coming back to the mobile version during other points of our review process as well.
- Try the Casino’s Free-Play Features: At this point, we claim the site’s (no) deposit bonus if it’s offered and spend it on as many games as we can. We also play games in Demo Mode to see how titles load and how games work in the casino that we’re reviewing. We also check the RTP of the site’s top games, to make sure that it’s fair and not lowered by the casino.
- Deposit Our Money & Claim Bonuses: Now, we’re ready to make a deposit on the site. We generally choose to deposit with an e-wallet or payment processor like EcoPayz or MuchBetter, but we also keep our tabs open and often deposit with credit cards or, if possible, with bitcoin. We also claim any deposit bonuses given to new players, which helps us properly review welcome bonuses.
- Play with Real Money: With our account packed with real cash, we test the site’s games. We play slots, virtual table games, and miscellaneous games, and we browse and play at least a dozen games to get a feel of how the site works. This allows us to determine how well each casino works when dealing with real money.
- Pay a Visit to the Live Casino: Once we play the site's virtual games, we visit the live casino and play on its low-stakes tables and we give try to its best game shows, blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and poker live tables. We also check out the VIP section to see the allowed limits and table availability.
- Check the Sportsbook: We like to compare each sportsbook’s odds with the world’s most reliable sportsbooks. We also compare and rate features like bet builders, early cashouts, and cashback options in online casinos that offer the option to bet in sports.
- Participate in Events: If the casino houses or hosts events, either exclusive to the casino or hosted by one of its game developers, we try to participate in at least one of them, if possible.
- Analyze the VIP Program: Although we generally don't play long enough to become VIPs of a site (unless it's one of our team's favorite casinos), we always compare a casino's VIP program with others and we read its rules to determine its quality and whether it makes the site worth sticking around.
- Get in Touch with Support: We always message the site's support via the casino's live chat, if available, and we also send a message to their team via email if we're given the option. This helps us determine response times, but we also take into consideration the feedback of other users to make sure our experience isn't a "one-off.
- Engage with the Community: We like to read the opinions of other users and, if the casino offers a global chat option, we ask other users questions as if we were regular members of the casino. After all, our goal is to show you precisely what a standard player would feel.
- Withdraw Our Money: Once we’re done playing at the site, we make a withdrawal request so we can inform you of whether the casino asks for the same withdrawal method as the payment method chosen, how long withdrawals take, and whether you’ll face restrictions upon withdrawal.
- Compare the Casino: We put the site "on a scale" with other top-rated websites and compare their most important features to give you more information on where to find what the casino is lacking by taking into account the competition's offers.
- Develop a Verdict: After the process is finished, we give our final thoughts on the site, why we think it's worth visiting it, and why you may prefer to stay away from it in case the latter is applicable. We aim to highlight the most important aspects of our review here, condensing it all into a single point.
Casino Features – What We Look for in an Online Casino
If any casino that we review fails to offer any of the features that we’re about to mention, we’ll be sure to explicitly let you know about it in our reviews.
Even so, we prefer to rate online casinos that are trustworthy. We avoid rating unlicensed casinos unless they’ve proven to be reliable already, and even then, we tend to opt against including such gambling websites on our site.
- Responsible Gambling Compliance: There’s nothing that we value more than casinos that take player safety as an important part of their experience. Complying with Responsible Gambling practices is a key part of a safe casino journey.
- Fair Terms and Conditions: We give a lot of weight to a casino's T&Cs when evaluating it. Terms that are disfavorable to the player will be noted in our reviews and negatively affect our final rating of a website.
- Licensing and Trustworthiness: The presence of a casino license is a good indicator that the casino in question is reliable. This, combined with external audits and reliability checks, is something that we always look for when reviewing an online casino.
- Positive Player Feedback: We like to form our own opinion about a gambling site, but we’re likely still spending less time on each website than regular players do. So, we always look for the opinions of site veterans, in order to complement our reviews based on real experiences.
- Affiliation with Top Providers: We frown upon casinos that have too limited a selection of games, as well as casinos that only offer games from a handful of providers. We take into consideration game quality as well as quantity; sites with games created by top companies will be given a higher rating than those with games from nothing but a couple of reliable studios.
- Fair & Promising Bonuses: Many casinos offer bonuses just for the sake of it, trying to lure players with no real promise of helping them turn their bonus cash into real money. We always emphasize this in all of our reviews, and we give higher ratings to casinos that offer low wagering requirements, long bonus timeframes, and overall top-quality bonuses.
- A Complete Experience: We review sites that only offer casino games, but we'll take into consideration casinos that offer live dealer games as well as sportsbooks. Our end goal is to help you find a site that serves as your main gambling hub, so you won't have to make deposits in multiple websites.
The Types of Online Casinos that We Review
As you wander through our site, looking for the very best online casinos in the world, you’ll notice that many of them are categorized differently, based on certain features that are the most sought-after in the online gambling world. The following categories will help you find exactly the type of casino that you’re looking for.
Reliable bitcoin casinos are not easy to find, as the nature of cryptocurrency makes scam sites more widespread than standard online casinos. We have a list of our top-rated Bitcoin casinos, which you can use to find sites that accept the world’s biggest crypto or popular altcoins like Ethereum, Litecoin, USDT, or, in some cases, DOGE.
Playing on the go is one of the best features of online casinos, but not every site offers an app or is optimized to operate on mobile devices. We rate online casinos based on their mobile performance and categorize sites based on how well they perform on mobile devices, be it via app or by accessing the site through mobile browsers.
Some casinos are just so perfectly suited to high-rollers that they deserve a category of their own. These sites have higher deposit and withdrawal limits, loyalty programs tailored for VIPs, bonuses that adapt to those willing to deposit thousands of dollars, and other high-roller-friendly features.
No Deposit Casinos
Gambling for free whilst being able to earn real money is one of the most coveted features that an online casino may offer. No deposit casinos are sites that offer no deposit bonuses, allowing you to earn real cash by spending the casino’s free money or by playing with the site’s free spins to do it.
Most modern casinos provide users with online slots, but to be fully categorized as a “slot casino”, a gambling site must provide users with a respectable selection of online slots. The variety and quality of slot games are taken into consideration when adding a site to our list of slot casinos.
We don’t take Responsible Gaming features lightly. Not only do we, as reviewers, offer resources to help the vulnerable, but we also prioritize reviewing online casinos that are compliant with popular responsible gambling practices. These practices can be seen in some of the world’s best online casinos and are often required to be offered by sites that have reliable licenses.
Some key responsible gaming features that we look for in top-quality casinos are:
- Help Tools & Channels: Casinos must offer ways for players to get help if they feel that they’re in trouble or if gambling seems to be escaping their control. Support channels and contact phones and help channels that link to RG organizations are crucial, in our eyes.
- Reality Check: The Reality Check feature allows players to set alarms and warnings to remind them to take a break after having played in a casino for a long time.
- Deposit Limits: Many online casinos will allow you to set daily, weekly or monthly deposit limits to help you prevent how much cash you commit to your account. Deposit limits are fundamental in the online gambling world!
- Self-Exclusion: In most casinos reviewed by our team, players will be able to exclude themselves from a casino, either temporarily or permanently. This can be done by contacting customer support or via the RG menu in the player profile, should the casino offer one.
- Playtime Limits: Setting the maximum amount of time that you can spend in a casino is a responsible gaming feature that helps players limit their sessions to a specific number of hours.
Final Take – Why You Can Trust Us
Not only is our aim to offer the most complete and reliable casino reviews in the industry, but we have a clear list of steps and features that we prioritize, and that we’ve shared with you on this page.
The fact that we don’t take our job lightly, and that we consider the well-being of a player to be as important as for the player themselves to be informed, are part of the reason why you can fully trust The Casino Wizard when looking for the world’s best online casinos.