How We Rate Online Casinos
Players who are familiar with online casinos will know that no two casinos are the same. Each casino has a unique catalog of games, different welcome bonuses, mobile casino app experiences, and varying levels of customer support and banking flexibility.
Every casino we review is fully licensed by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PCGB). We only review PCGB-licensed casinos as they are the only legal casinos within the state of Pennsylvania. The licensing process comes with benefits to the player, too, such as mandatory encryption of personal and financial details and third-party casino audits.
To complement our written reviews, we developed a complete set of criteria that covers the primary aspects of an online casino to provide our readers with a clear and concise summary of our thoughts at a glance. And as such, we provide ratings for bonuses and promos, game variety, mobile casino apps, customer support, and banking methods available.
Our primary aim is to provide sound gambling advice to ensure our readers play responsibly and have fun when playing online. Our rating system works towards that aim, providing players with fast access to accurate and unbiased information that they can rely on.
Bonuses & Promos
Most players looking to join a new casino are interested in what bonuses and promos are on offer. We know our readers want easy-to-complete, high-value bonuses with clear terms and conditions.
When rating the overall value of a bonus, we look at the monetary value of the bonuses, the extent of playthrough requirements, which games contribute towards those requirements, and how long a player has to complete the offer. We take the theoretical value of an offer as an indicator of overall value, so offers with a good mix of bonus value and low wagering requirements will score well.
New player bonuses aside, a casino should also have something to offer returning players, such as daily or weekly bonuses. These bonuses could be free spins, reload bonuses, or similar.
Finally, a robust VIP, loyalty, or reward program can make a good casino a great one. These programs should be easy to understand, with rewards made clear for players to work towards.
Everyone comes to an online casino to play games. So, when rating the variety of games in an online casino, we look for an extensive collection of titles that cater to a wide audience.
Slots are an integral part of casino play for many players, so we look for casinos with plenty of games covering different themes, volatilities, and styles. Getting a good rating here requires a good mix of classic slots, video slots, progressives, megaways slots, and even some Slingo titles.
In terms of table games, we like to see a range of casino staples such as roulette, blackjack, and baccarat with multiple variants, lots of other table games, and a number of live dealer options.
We also prefer a games library composed of titles from a mix of top developers, so players can always find something they enjoy. Of course, casinos with exclusive titles are always on our radar, too.
An easy-to-access customer support team can help make your time at a casino as smooth as possible, should you ever encounter problems. We rate customer support facilities based on their availability, how many contact methods are available, and the quality of their written help documents.
To score well in the customer support category, we like to see casinos offer 24/7 live chat, phone support, and a fast-response customer support email. At the very least, a casino should offer live support during peak operating hours.
We also find a well-written FAQ section can make troubleshooting issues without contacting a support agent much more straightforward. A good FAQ section will cover all aspects of the casino, such as banking, promotions, apps, games, and other technical issues.
Finally, a dedicated section on responsible gambling, complete with information on various state and national help channels, is a must-have for any licensed casino.
Mobile & Apps
When we rate mobile casino apps, we are looking for apps that provide a smooth experience, have all the necessary casino features built-in, and are home to a huge collection of touch-optimized games similar to that of their desktop counterpart.
Features such as built-in banking, customer support, and live chat are appreciated. In addition, any streaming services, such as live dealer games, should be high-quality and fast-loading.
When we test mobile apps, we look at both iOS and Android variants of the app if both are available, as even though they look similar, performance may differ between the two platforms. A mobile app needs to perform well on both in order to receive a good rating.
We also take into account user reviews left on the two app stores, but we do so with caution. User reviews provide valuable anecdotal information but can be left in haste or without proper consideration in the event of big wins or losses.
Better banking has always been important to players and could be a dealbreaker for some. We know players want fast banking and the flexibility to choose how and how much they deposit.
When rating banking, we like to see a wide range of deposit and withdrawal options that cover most players. This includes online banking, cash payments, checks by mail, e-wallets, Play+ cards, and perhaps a cash-at-the-cage option where available.
Players love flexibility, so we always look out for casinos that offer banking methods with low minimum and high maximum transaction amounts.
Pretty much every casino now offers instant deposits, but withdrawal times can vary wildly by casino. To score well in banking, a casino must have at least some options that have moderately fast withdrawals. Players should no longer have to wait an average of five to seven business days to get their cash.
Our individual ratings, when combined, paint an overall picture that helps customers make more informed decisions about their play.
Players can see very quickly our thoughts on what matters most to them. For example, those who care more about game variety than anything else can find that information in seconds and quickly compare it against other casinos, knowing they’re being rated on the same set of criteria.
While our ratings are not designed to replace our well-researched written content, we understand sometimes players are looking for a quick synopsis of our thoughts on a casino.