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Online Casino Reviews 2017 – Operator Comparisons

The market for online casinos is fierce and with the abundance of choice around, fans of gambling online have never had so much choice in where they choose to spin the reels or take a chance on roulette or investigate live dealer games, amongst other things. With so many casinos to pick from, we’ve developed a test for sorting the wheat from the chaff. Primarily, we’re looking for a valid license, the opportunity to make high profits and the quality of the games selection. These are the primarily points covered on this online casino reviews page, as well as references throughout the article to subpages which shed further light on particularly interesting topics.

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For quick reference, the table above sheds light on the most successful operators following thorough testing, since we’re including about only the best UK online casino reviews. These are updated monthly since I check providers regularly to give relevant information on the top performing casinos as any one time, with the monthly online casino test winner highlighted.

My Personal Experiences with Online Casinos

We’ve spent a lot of time over the years in land based casinos and so-called gambling dens, and consider myself a passionate and well-informed player. Given the quality of online casinos and the high payout rates on offer, I prefer playing online nowadays. Let’s face it, I’m not purely playing for fun, making some profit is also high on my list of priorities.

This page serves to give players an insight into the breadth of our three-member team‘s casino knowledge, and an introduction to the world of online gambling. Given that all players have diverse needs, We’ve been keen to ensure my personal preferences haven’t swayed the result. With this in mind, this 10-category test covers the key facets which could influence a players decision. Considering my taste for blackjack in the live casino, We’ve made sure to include categories which cover all options, not just my personal favourites. We’ve played pretty much everything there is to available online, thus you’ll find here qualitative information about everything from slots to roulette and mobile casino options.

An Overview of the Casino Reviews Test Criteria

My main concern regarding the criteria is how well each can show a clear comparison between the difference in each casino. This is the simplest and best way in my opinion to get a general picture of how they perform against each other. The operators listed on this online casino reviews page all meet my minimum standards in each and every category, from complying with UKGC license standards to releasing their pay-out rates.

1. Legal Situation and Gambling Licence – the Basis for an Online Casino Evaluation

One condition that all online casinos must meet is holding the correct operating license to offer online gambling. This comes from the UKGC, a regulatory body for casinos providing facilities for online gambling to consumers in Britain, whilst removing criminality from gaming and protecting vulnerable people. Ensuring that casinos are run in a fair and transparent way prevents gambling as a source of crime. The UKGC take 5 points into account, identity and ownership, the financial history and competence of the owner. Integrity, is the applicant honest and reliable? Competence, do they have the experience and expertise to run such an enterprise, and finally, criminality, does the applicant have a criminal record. Anti-money laundering and underage gambling are a key concern here.

2. Comparing the Selection of Games

Now to the fun stuff, the games! It’s clear to see which casinos seek to impress and excite their players by constantly updating their collection with the newest most interesting variations around. Having a great choice and constantly updating the catalogue is particularly important for frequent players, even classics such as blackjack and roulette are available in many innovative variants, for instance Multi Wheel Roulette or Double Exposure Blackjack. All preferences should be catered for as well as the introduction of new games to intrigue players.

2.1 Live Casino

Snapshot of what to expect in a casinos live suite Live Casino is a blast, there’s real dealers, real tables and above all, real winnings! Playing against a dealer instead of casino software is not only more thrilling, it’s far more transparent. The atmosphere of a real life casino, the spinning of the wheel in real time is now available at home and fortunately, most online casinos are offering them in some way shape or form. Of course, the quality of the picture and audio must be premium or at least have the option to toggle between high and low. They key differences between casinos are the variety of table limits and again, the selection of games, especially the different types of variants available for players to enjoy. For more about the unique live casino experience, check out my live casino page.

2.2 Mobile Gaming

Playing games on a handheld device Online casinos have embraced the trend toward smartphones and tablet slowly replacing sitting rigidly with our laptops or desktop PCs. Today, you can play most games mobile and to further encourage players into the domain of casino apps, top rated casinos are offering plenty of bonuses and promotions exclusively for mobile players. The simplest way to test the superior competitors is how well they’ve optimised their software for use on these smaller devices. To check this out, I browsed the site checking for functionality and how easy the navigation is on both my tablet and smartphone. A handful of games were checked out, looking into loading times as there’s nothing worse than waiting around for a game to get going and their playback quality.

3. RTP and Fairness (aka Chances to Win)

RTP stands for the return to player rate. This is a figure indicating how much money is paid out to players over long periods of time. The lower the RTP (as a percentage) the higher the house edge, any change in the variance means a change in the chance of winning for players, so ideally, we’re after casinos with the lowest RTP. Therefore I use this category as a key indicator of the quality of an online casino, decent operators provide players with a fair opportunity to win.

4. Bonus and Wagering Requirements

Everyone loves a discount, and even more so a freebie. Online casinos offer hands down incomparable bonuses vs their land based counterparts. From welcome bonuses, deposit bonuses to loyalty plans and even free play money, which can, subject to wagering conditions, be turned into real cash and withdrawn! We’ve played through plenty of bonuses in my time, and am very familiar with the types of terms the casinos combine them with. These terms are sales conditions, as simply handing out cash gifts would quickly get the casinos into trouble, or at least deep water with their accountants. Here’s a summary of the most common bonuses available:

The most important consideration for my casino reviews is the fairness in these bonuses, all casinos can draw you in with 1,000’s of bonuses, but are they reachable? Especially with deposit match bonuses, your own cash is contributing to the overall playing money, and this is subject to conditions also. For more about the best bonuses around, check out the corresponding casino bonus page where each bonus type is reviewed and rated for your disposal.

5. Jackpots and Big Winners

Casinos never miss out on the chance to advertise their jackpots and make press dates with the proud winners. In my opinion, making these efforts is a good sign of credibility, since the respective operator is advertising the winning potential and their ability to pay out large sums. We’ve often dreamt of striking it lucky on a single spin, and these types of payouts are an important factor in my evaluation. There are a wealth of jackpot games out there, with several notable jackpot wins even hitting double-digit million amounts! I recommend the millionaire maker, Millionaire Genie as one of the best in its class.

6. Payment Options

Before I began these casino reviews I didn’t have a clue about the latest online payment methods, I’m talking e-wallets, Neteller and Paypal for example, or even prepaid cards like paysafecard. These payment services provide a great service in holding all your banking methods in one place to access in just one click when a payment or withdrawal is needed, this saves time form filling with addresses and contact details. Casinos which accept Paypal are top of my list, this really is the go to e-wallet. Although not available at every casino, it’s the most popular e-wallet online and the safest you’ll find. Fee’s vary between payment methods, some of which are absorbed by the casino, and some passed on to players.

7. Withdrawals and the Identity Check Process

Unfortunately, given the sums of money quickly exchanging hands, there’s a problematic relationship between gambling and money laundering. This fact isn’t lost on regulatory bodies, who, recognising the problem call for casinos to perform identity checks. Often a copy of ID such as your passport or driving license is sufficient, sometimes a utility bill for further proof of address before any withdrawals can be made. We’ve gone to the trouble of checking this system for each casino, specifically how long it takes before an approval is made. Warning signs are when vendors seem to deliberately hesitate and cause delays.

Proof of Identification on First Withdrawal
Scan your passportScan your passport or drivers licence
Credit/debit card statementCredit/debit card statement
Copy of a recent utility billCopy of a recent utility bill

8. Software & Stability

All software is expected to be stable to minimise the risk of system crashes, however, these things can and do happen. What happens with your bets and winnings if the system crashes? There are significant differences in quality between the games and software providers which impacts on the ability to deal with the worst-case scenario, a system crash. If you’d like to learn more about the background of game developers and manufacturers, you can find out more here.

8.1 Rules of the Games

Since nobody was born an experienced player, getting the handle of a game takes a bit of practice. For this reason, We’ve integrated beginner’s questions into my test. We’ve learnt the rules to countless modern games and found the task simple and far more enjoyable when the rules are set out clearly, the games functions and how to avoid any obvious mistakes. For the rules of the most popular games to date, head to the respective games pages.

9. Customer Support

In the best-case scenario, there will be no need to consult customer services, however, if a problem were to arise, fast responses with competent advice is to be expected. To get a good grasp of the customer support on offer, We’ve tasked myself with throwing questions at the support agents to a point of annoyance. Posting similar questions to multiple operators at each casino to check for the consistency and quality offered from one casino to the next, finding the differences to be great in fact.

10. Gambling Addiction and Prevention

My last check is on the unsavoury topic of gambling addiction. In my opinion, casinos have a responsibility to inform and assist players in good practice habits to avoid bad playing habits. An example of this is including warnings for playing extensive playing times or the quantity of money lost per day/ month. Professional players may find this annoying but overall, it’s a good and important thing for casinos to promote. In the same sense, players should take responsibility by using the deposit limit tool to avoid over spending when the urge to overspend strikes.

Conclusion of my Best Online Casino Reviews Testing

I’m the first to admit, creating a thorough review of all the casinos was a little more complex than I would have thought. I had fun all the same, getting my head around the in’s and out’s of how to spot the best UK casinos online casinos and rating them fairly on their merits. It’s a pleasure to be able to pass on my results in the shape of this online casino reviews page. In the process we’ve discovered a new passion for online games with a live dealer, they’re a must try, a visually stunning, and overall fun and captivating experience. It’s the combination of real life casino and online gaming which nails it for me. There are so many great casinos, with exemplary live casinos at your disposal. Overall, I’d recommend trying new games (which you can play directly in our games hub), is just as important as analysing them, and above all, have fun!