Casino Rating Guidelines – How The Casino Wizard Reviews & Ratings Are Made
Creating an online 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 online casino 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”.
Review Framework – Our Casino Reviewing Process
The list of steps that we follow to write casino reviews is rather varied and, most importantly, dynamic. Even though we have our well-established review framework, 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.
Let’s take a look at every aspect that we take into consideration when writing our casino reviews:
1. Background Check
The most important aspect of an online casino is how safe it is. There are numerous factors that we evaluate before signing up for a casino or even consider writing a review about it.
Operator Background Check: We evaluate the company that operates the casino. If they have other sites, we visit them and look at how they work, just to be sure they’re well operated. We also take a look at where the company is registered, and check whether they have complaints from their users.
License Check: It’s important to ensure that the site’s license is valid and provided by a renowned body. We check who licenses the site and whether it remains active to ensure that the casino is legally operated.
Player Feedback: Opinions of players have weight in our casino reviews. After all, people that spend a considerable amount of time playing in a casino tend to have some very interesting views. We pay close attention to them and analyze what they say when writing casino reviews.
2. Game Analysis
We run a thorough check on the casino’s games. Gaming options make or break a casino experience, so we analyze everything from the number of games to their quality and profitability. These are the main aspects of our analysis:
Slot Variety: Online casinos tend to have more slots than other types of games. We look at how many of them are there and the types of games on offer. We take into consideration the number of slots, types, mechanics, RTP rates, volatility levels, and progressive jackpot options.
Card Games & Miscellaneous: A good array of card games and table games is fundamental to our team. We look at how many miscellaneous games the site has, too; bingo, scratch cards, virtual sports, video poker, keno, etc.
Live Casino Platform: Live gaming platforms should be present in a high-rated online casino. We look at the platform and evaluate the games it has to offer, as well as who the platform provider is. Sites with Evolution games tend to get our highest live gaming ratings.
Quality Software Providers: Having access to 2,000+ games isn’t quite good as it seems if they aren’t created by reputable developers. We determine how reliable game providers are before consolidating our opinions about an online casino.
Additional Gaming & Betting Options: When evaluating games, we look at whether the site offers a sportsbook or additional gaming options like bingo and poker rooms.
3. Bonuses, Promotions, and Events
Quality bonuses often set an online casino apart from the rest. A site that offers promotions aplenty and helps set their players up for success with quality rewards is very well regarded among our team members. These are some of the bonus features we take a look at when reviewing casino sites:
Sign Up Bonuses: The presence of match deposit bonuses for new players, as well as no deposit bonuses to kickstart your adventure, plays a key role in how we perceive online casinos.
Bonus Availability: Additional bonuses and promotions should be present to ensure players a world-class experience. Weekly cashbacks, reload bonuses, free spins, and other rewards are evaluated to determine true bonus quality.
Bonus Terms: We read all of the site’s bonus terms so you don’t have to, and share with you the most important bits of information that you should know before claiming a casino bonus.
Additional Promotions: We look at other bonuses, such as tournaments and events, and study how worth it are they. We check their prizes and let our readers know whether they’re for everyone or exclusive to high rollers.
VIP Program: Analyzing the site’s VIP program helps us determine whether the site does a good job at rewarding high rollers and frequent players. It also lets us know whether non high rollers can benefit from the program.
4. Casino Platform & Software Checks
Gaming software is important to evaluate, but the casino platform and the software used to make everything “click” is just as important, if not more. We take into consideration the following aspects of a casino’s framework:
Mobile Compatibility: Most modern casinos are mobile-friendly, but we always test their mobile platforms to see whether loading times meet our standards, and whether the site offers all of its “desktop” features to mobile players. We also test the app, should it have one.
Download Options: We look at the site’s downloadable app on either desktop or mobile and try it out to make sure that it’s safe. Casino apps often need to be downloaded directly from the mobile site, so we like to take a look at their quality and safety features before recommending them to our readers.
Browser Website: We determine how well an online casino works when opened using a mobile browser. We take a look at its interface and the options that players have access to when navigating the website.
5. Payments & Withdrawals
The straightforwardness and security of payments also plays a crucial role in how we perceive an online casino. When determining how well an online casino deals with payments and withdrawal, we pay close attention to:
Banking Options: We look at how many payment options are available, as well as how many withdrawal options you can access. We always list them in our reviews, for your convenience.
Pending Times: More often than not, payments are delayed because of casino pending times. We prioritize recommending websites that have short pending times, allowing users to quickly get their hands on their money without having to wait around a week.
Payout Fees & Commissions: We give scores to websites based on how much money they charge to their players. Most of the casinos that we review do not have withdrawal fees. If they do, we’ll let you know about it and how much you’re expected to pay when requesting your money.
Crypto Payment Handling: We evaluate how a casino deals with cryptocurrencies by looking at the site’s conversion fees (if available), crypto withdrawal times, withdrawal limits, and other crypto-exclusive payment features.
6. Player Support & Measures
Being able to request support when necessary is fundamental. In our opinion, online casinos should be designed with the well-being of the player as a priority. That’s why, when we review casinos, we focus on:
Responsible Gambling Options: Features like self-imposed deposit limits, reality check clocks, and even responsible gambling assistance to players in need are taken into consideration when evaluating an online casino.
Customer Support Options: We prefer to play in online casinos that offer many customer support options to their players. Live chat and email support are fundamental, while phone support is a good option to have. We’ll always let you know of the ways in which you can reach the site’s support staff when writing our reviews.
KYC: Most online casinos require players to undergo “Know Your Customer” checks before withdrawing money. We prefer sites that aren’t too strict with this and allow players to withdraw money without having to share dozens of pieces of personal information.
Support Quality: We evaluate how friendly the staff is, as well as how open they are to help. The quality of their replies plays a huge role in how we perceive them and directly influences the customer support score that we give to a casino.
Response Times: We expect to receive live chat support replies within 5 minutes of reaching out, whilst email replies are expected within a couple of hours. Longer response times are taken into consideration and have a negative impact on a casino’s TCW ratings.
7. Accessibility & Regions
Even though online casinos aren’t tied to physical space, there are still some limitations that prevent access to users from certain regions or countries. We pay close attention to the general accessibility of a casino by focusing on the following:
Region & Location Blocks: How many countries is a casino available in, and how easy the site is to access from anywhere, are two of the factors we look at when we evaluate a casino. Some sites are designed for players of certain markets only, but we generally give better ratings to sties that accept users from almost anywhere where restrictions aren’t an issue.
VPN Conditions: Most online casinos do not allow the usage of VPN software to access their services.
Casino Language Options: Many sites choose to operate in English only, but we always look at the languages in which the site is available in. We also look at whether their customer support speaks multiple languages or if you need to communicate in English only.
8. Putting It All Together
Once we’re done with our analysis, we proceed to create the casino reviews that you see on our site. We create our reviews based on what players look for the most, but we make sure to mention everything that we consider to be relevant when creating our content.
Our content always informs players of casino red flags. Issues with payments, player data handling, unfair fees or return rates, delayed customer support, and more; we pay close attention to the way casinos are handled, and we make sure to share every detail with you.
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 unfavorable 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 on 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.
Mobile casino apps are some 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. High-Roller casinos 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.
We don’t take our job lightly, and we consider the well-being of a player to be as important as for the player themselves to be informed. Those facts are part of the reason you can fully trust The Casino Wizard when looking for the world’s best online casinos.