The Internet is full of both honest and dishonest reviews for products and services. Generally before you purchase a product, it’s wise to check reviews from other people. Of course product vendors know this, which is why many publish fake positive reviews of their own products. It’s no different when it comes to online casinos.
Can you trust online casino reviews?
Just about every online casino has an affiliate program. And every affiliate has their own website to promote casinos. So naturally an affiliate will encourage visitors to join the recommended online casino. However, although an affiliate could theoretically promote any casino, they tend to favor those that will pay them the most for newly referred players. For example, one casino may offer affiliates only $200 per new player. But another casino may offer the affiliate 35% revenue share. In most cases, the revenue share would be the better option. Therefore the affiliate is more likely to advise visitors to join that particular casino.
It is like any product review site. The reviewer naturally favors the product that profits them the most. Is it dishonest? Yes, and it’s very common. In fact government fair trading laws don’t prohibit it. Imagine if it was illegal to advertise one product, but not another. Virtually every business would be breaking the law.
To answer the question, you can’t rely on casino reviews alone. In fact you can’t rely on any review, for any product, without doing further research.
Fake negative reviews
You need to be wary of both positive and negative reviews. It is extremely easy for a product vendor to post fake negative reviews about a competitor’s product. In most cases, anyone leaving review is anonymous. Of course there could be a subpoena to retrieve the IP address of the reviewer. But this is unlikely to happen. And even if it did happen, the reviewer could have easily used a proxy to hide their real IP address.
If you found one negative review, naturally you would search for others. You may find 10 other negative reviews spread throughout chat forums and message boards. You may believe it’s conclusive proof that the product is a scam, or poor quality. But again keep in mind that a single person could be publishing all negative reviews. Usually this is obvious when a new member on a forum, with hardly any posts, publishes negative reviews. Of course it’s the same case if a new forum member publishes positive reviews. So if you are a blackjack player, and want to review an online blackjack casino, visit a reputable blackjack message board or forum. Then check reviews from established members, ignore anything from new members. But still don’t accept other people’s opinions or experiences as the gospel truth.
We are particularly careful with online roulette casinos we link to or recommend. While we do promote particular brands as an affiliate, income from it is secondary. We don’t particularly care about maximizing profit from affiliate programs because it’s not our focus. It is also very important for us to link only to websites that give accurate advice about winning casino games. For example, roulettephysics.com has accurate and original roulette tips to win while many websites tend to repeat inaccurate information.
Common negative feedback about online casinos.
Probably the most common complaint we receive about online casinos is payout refusal. This is where the casino refuses to pay winnings for whatever reason. Indeed there have been cases where casinos have refused payouts, despite the player not breaking any rules. But in the vast majority of cases, players are refused payouts because of a terms violation, or conditions the player already agreed to.
The most common case is when a player accepts a deposit bonus. And deposit bonuses come with strings attached. For example, a player may deposit $100, and receive bonus of $100. The condition is that the player must wager 20 times the amount of their original deposit. In this case it would be $2000.
Now let’s say the player didn’t meet minimum wager requirements, but had profited $1000. The player will be eager to withdraw funds, although the casino will refuse because requirements were not met. The player may then feel cheated, and publish negative reviews on gambling websites and forums. Remember it takes only one person to publish many negative reviews.
In such a case, the casino will have done nothing wrong. The fault actually rests with the player who failed to read and understand the terms of service. Most players would understand the requirements, but it only takes one irritated player to publish the negative reviews.
So you cannot rely on any kind of forum feedback alone. When making an informed decision, you must look at the larger picture.
Tips for playing and reviewing online casinos.
Start with a licensed online casino. Check the jurisdiction in which the casino is licensed. See if you can validate its legitimacy.
Check reviews on reputable gambling message boards. Don’t rely on new members with only a few posts to their name.
Don’t rely on review websites: Every review site promotes brands that profit them the most.
Check how long the casino has existed for: rogue casinos tend to be new. And when they are exposed, they start again with a new web address. It’s remarkably easy to run a casino from a website. It’s just a server and web address. In fact the software to offer online casino games can be purchased for just a few thousand dollars. And with a new logo and some image changes, it can look like a completely different casino. This is another reason to be particularly skeptical of bitcoin casinos. Although not all bitcoin casinos are dishonest. Bitcoin is often used in scams because payments are highly anonymous.
Ultimately if you check the credibility of sources, you will better understand their motives, and the likelihood that they are being honest. As a general rule in business, don’t trust anyone who has something to gain or lose. This may be a pessimistic view, but it’s a necessary attitude if you are to avoid being scammed. Be patient, don’t rely on hype and sales material. Do proper research before depositing funds.