How would you define a great online casino? Nice and modern website, fast and friendly customer support, your favorite games, generous bonuses?
They're all important right. But they're all worth nothing if the casino won’t pay you when you do win.
Winning and not getting paid is probably an even worse experience than losing.
That’s the reason why in my reviews I put a strong focus on reputation. Different people can have different views on what makes a great game or effective support, but everyone wants to get paid.
My main rating criteria is simple: REPUTATION FIRST
So how do I rate a casino's reputation? I rely mostly on the experience of other real players.
If a casino has tens of thousands players and none of them have complained for years, you can be pretty sure that's a sign of a great and fair online casino. Some of these big casinos which do play fair include : 32 Red, Mr. Green, Royal Panda
2 thumbs up from CasinoGuru displayed at casinos with PERFECT reputation
But I don’t stop there and Google for anything related on forums or other websites.
Every complaint is checked with our Fair Gambling Codex. Not all complaints are legitimate and those which aren’t I don’t take into account.
Then I evaluate all the complaints by severity (amount involved, bonus money vs. real money), sum everything up and cross-check with the estimated number of casino visitors.
You can see all complaints which I found relevant in this table in every casino review we publish:
That’s how I get the basic rating. Afterwards I decrease it for things like
- FAKE or manipulated games
- BLACKLISTING by fellow websites which I respect
- Costa Rica license.
I also study in detail the casino Terms & conditions and look for predatory paragraphs.
It takes me up to 15 hours to write a good review of one casino. So why I’m going the extra mile on this?
I hate those GENERIC “HOW PERFECT IS THIS CASINO” REVIEWS. Sadly, many websites about casinos contain only these types of reviews. And I think that all review websites should put effort into delivering the most valuable info they possibly can.
I want to give you the best.....and I hope that CasinoGuru visitors will appreciate that at the end of the day.
What's very surprising is that even some really big brands are performing poorly by our reputation standards. They are big companies and while they are clearly not rogue casinos, their terms and conditions appear to give them an excuse to take advantage of their Customers if the situation allows.
If you are curious what I’m talking about, read my reviews of Bet365, BGO, 888.
While you should be extra careful with the brands listed above, there are some you shouldn't go anywhere close. These clearly fall into the bracket of rogue casinos.
More crazy stuff can be seen in the number of fake casinos with fake games without any license. This is a mainly seen in Russian markets. Surprisingly sometimes those casinos have quite a solid market share. There are around 10 casinos called Vulkan, plus some fake copies of big brands like Joy Casino etc. If you are interested, I carried out some investigation about Vulkan casinos.
What most of those casinos have in common are fake Novomatic games. How you distinguish fake from original? Simple detail works for me: the real games start with the following loading screen, so anything else is clearly fake.
My advice: If you are from Russia and you like Novomatic games, try Quasargaming.com. I know those guys and I trust them. They have a clear reputation and are big enough to pay big wins. The website and customer support is also in Russian language. Their bonuses are below average but for fans of Sizzling hot and Book of Ra it is still the best choice
Besides big brands and obvious rogue casinos there are hundreds of other small to middle sized operators. Here on Casino.Guru you'll find reviews on a decent selection of them. They usually offer good welcome bonuses which you probably haven’t used so far
Keep in mind that these casinos will not have proven themselves that much as the respected big brands. Smaller number of players means automatically smaller revenues.
So even if they are managed by fair and honest guys you might not get paid. If you win 250 000 dollars in such a casino, it's possible they'll have problems paying you. If you are a high roller who likes high volatility games then better to stay and play with the bigger brands.
I have talked to some casino managers who didn’t realize the real volatility of some slot games. For example in Book of Ra slot the player can win up to 5000 times his deposit. That makes €250 000 for €50 bet.
That win is usually above payment capabilities of casino with €20 000 monthly revenues.
€40 000 win in Book of Ra with €8 bet. €50 bet would win €250 000.
To make your life easier:
We are publishing for each casino our estimated “SAFE AMOUNT TO WIN” which is the amount of money the casino shouldn’t have problems to pay. It’s a very rough estimation based on the estimated number of visitors.
My last piece of advice for now:
Always make sure you check any monthly withdrawal limits. Some casinos have withdrawals limited to $2000/month or less. If you get a big win while playing at one of these, you may end up withdrawing your win for tens of months. And all the time with the risk that casino will close its doors before you've got all your money.