How We Review
We know each gambler is different, and will therefore have their own set of preferences, which is why we cover all the bases in order to offer an overall impression of a gambling site. Below are some of the key areas we look at.
We kick things off with some background research, detailing the salient biographical facts of a site and all of its relevant history. At this stage, we’re mainly checking to see if the site is legitimate. Information surrounding the owners, location, and longevity of a site brings important contextual information to our users.
This background research also reveals the kinds of verticals the site operates in. If our users are looking for recommendations of online casinos that double up as sportsbooks, for example, then we’ll outline whether the site in question can offer both and how good each individual aspect is.
Online gambling licences – issued and upheld by designated industry regulators like the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) – are the cornerstone of our reviewing process. From this centre, we’re able to discuss every other aspect of the site.
Licences ensure a degree of player protection when gambling online, including the encryption of sensitive data and a commitment to random number generator (RNG) technology in the site’s games. Several steps can be taken at an individual level to further safeguard players from malicious online threats – but licences are always our first port of call.
It’s important not to think of gambling licences as a guarantee of player safety. While non-compliant sites risk incurring major penalties from regulatory bodies, this isn’t to say compliance issues don’t occur. What we can guarantee, however, is that we’ll never recommend an unlicensed site, and any site that finds itself facing questions over its integrity will be immediately removed from GamblingDeals’ recommended lists.
Bonuses and Promotions
Bonuses and promotions are a deciding factor for many online gamblers, so it’s no surprise that this section ranks highly in our list of reviewing priorities. GamblingDeals is, after all, an offers-focused comparison platform, and our users expect to find the highest quality bonuses through our site.
The best gambling sites will follow up on a generous welcome bonus with a consistent string of accessible offers for their existing players. When reviewing the overall quality of an offer, it’s important to think of the bonus in terms beyond its monetary value – what terms are attached, how player-friendly are the wagering requirements, and how much time do I have to complete them? These are the kinds of questions gamblers should ask of a bonus offer, and we answer them in our reviews.
When broken down like this, it quickly becomes apparent that monetary value is not always the marker of a good bonus, and that all bonuses live and die by their terms and conditions.
The true value of any bonus, therefore, depends on a gambler’s betting preferences and playing styles, and the generosity of those pesky T&CS like wagering requirements and max win caps.
Games and Software
Not only do we look for sites that host a range of different games – such as video slots, table games, and the latest live dealer innovations – but also variety within these games, offering a wide array of roulette variants, for example. Although many online casino players stick to their favourites, we prefer sites that can guarantee their members a well-rounded playing experience.
This section of our review also includes consideration of the software developers providing a site’s games. Here, we’re likely to recommend sites that host games created by a combination of the biggest names in the industry and up-and-coming talent. If a site has a diverse portfolio of software providers, we can be pretty sure that the games will satisfy a wide spectrum of online gamblers.
Deposit and Withdrawal Options
A range of different payment options – and particularly the ability to offer customers fast withdrawals – is now par for the course at the top online gambling sites. A long list of payment methods is about offering convenience and choice to the user.
Usually, these banking methods will include bank cards, e-wallets, prepaid cards, pay by phone bill services, and bank transfer systems, with some sites also providing crypto options – sites that can offer all of these methods are well regarded in our reviews.
These sites demonstrate a willingness to utilise newer technologies on behalf of their customers, facilitating instant deposits alongside lightning-quick withdrawals, ensuring that players get their hands on any cash as soon as possible; we like these sites, and our users do too.
Now that online gaming resides equally in the mobile world, sites that aren’t able to offer mobile functionality will struggle to get off the ground. At the very least, gambling sites must make sure they have a well-optimised mobile site that players can enjoy whenever and wherever they like. This involves converting the site’s desktop offering into an attractive, intuitive, and comprehensive mobile format.
The best gambling sites will also offer their players a bespoke native app that they can download onto their smartphone or tablet device. This is where our reviews are able to distinguish between good sites and great sites – these dedicated apps not only offer faster loading times and peak functionality but also represent a player’s best chance of taking advantage of all the site’s bonus offers. At GamblingDeals, we always recommend downloading these apps when they are available.
In our books, good customer support is the use of a wide variety of communication channels – such as email, phone support, social media accounts, and live chat functions which are available and responsible throughout the majority of the day. The highest performing sites in this area will go above and beyond, offering 24/7 live chat support throughout the year.
Gambling can be a tense exercise, and a site’s customer support services are an acknowledgement of this fact. When there’s an issue related to a gambling account, customers want to know they have the support of the site and the possibility of a quick resolution, and we look for casinos and sports betting sites that offer this to their players.