We have a simple aim here at BestOnlineCasinos: to make your search for the ideal online casino as smooth as possible. We do this so that you don’t have to, understanding that trawling through a market as competitive as online gambling can be a grating and time-consuming exercise.
Our expert team of writers work together to provide comprehensive guides to all the best online casinos available to Canadian players. As gamblers ourselves, we know what punters look for in a casino, and our extensive reviewing criteria leaves no stone unturned in order to provide credible, balanced, user-focused accounts of the top gambling sites.
We also know that there is probably no universal answer to which is the best online casino, since each of them excel in their own niche, and each bettor has their own set of gambling preferences, ideas, and habits. That’s why we provide overall leaderboards of the strongest online casinos as well as segmented lists of individual specialisms, so that our users can garner an overall impression of a casino based on the priorities of their own individual marking criteria. From the casino with the biggest welcome bonuses to the one with the best mobile capabilities, they’re all accounted for in our reviewing process.
Below are the key areas we assess before recommending an online casino on our site.
First and foremost, you never have to worry about the licensing status of any casino operators you find on the BestOnlineCasinos site. We’ll never point our users in the direction of an unlicensed casino, so you won’t find any of them in our list of recommendations. Licences by respected gambling authorities are integral to creating a legal, safe and secure place to gamble online, protecting players from fraudulent sites, games, and other malicious online threats. In order to hold these licences, operators must deploy testing agencies such as eCOGRA to audit their games and check that everything is as it should be. These audits take place at regular intervals throughout the year so that licences always stay relevant.
We always keep an eye on the type of technology that’s used to encrypt sensitive customer data such as personal details and banking information. Since there are millions of transactions taking place every day at online casinos, state-of-the-art encryption technology is essential to keeping players safe, and makes up another crucial element of our reviewing process.
Once we’ve satisfied the questions surrounding licensing and player safety, our reviews move onto areas that make gambling what it is: entertainment. When reviewing a casino’s games library, we not only look for a wide variety of games, but depth within these games too. We like to see a decent collection of roulette or blackjack variants across a range of different casino budgets, satisfying both high stakes rollers and those that simply wish to place a casual wager from time to time. In recent years, it’s also become important for the top gambling sites to facilitate live dealer games, where casinos use video streaming technology to situate players in an authentic casino environment from the comfort of their own homes.
The quality of the on-site software is all-important, so we always take a look at which of the industry’s game developers are represented in the casino’s library. Since gambling is entertainment, we tend to favour casinos that host a multitude of different developers, inviting as much diversity by style, design, themes, and gameplay as possible. In this category, we like to see both the industry’s biggest guns – such as Microgaming and NetEnt – as well as new talent looking to make a name for themselves.
It’s one of the most important factors for our users, so the accessibility, consistency, and quality of a casino’s player bonuses is high up on our list of assessment criteria. When new players first sign up to an online casino, they’ll be offered what’s known as the welcome bonus – a generous bundle of deals aimed at attracting as many members to the casino as possible. It’s this welcome bonus that catches the eye of potential customers, and we look at the quality of these offers, and the quality of all subsequent bonuses too.
It’s important for players to remember that the biggest bonus is not necessarily the best. In order to assess the true value of a bonus, it must be weighed up in conjunction with its associated terms and conditions – particularly the wagering requirements – and how much of a hindrance they are to players looking to convert bonuses into real money winnings. We look at all the contributing factors in this part of our review.
Promotions differ slightly from bonuses in that they’re usually tied to a specific game, event, or new release. You might notice a ramp up in marketing material around the latest promotional offer, and we’ll take a look at the frequency of these and how much of an incentive there is for casino players to take part. Many online casinos will reward participants with promotional campaigns which give the chance to win prizes outside of the casino, such as holiday trips or the latest gadgets.
The online gambling industry is one that has to move fast. Today’s online gamblers are divided pretty evenly between desktop and mobile players, and any casino that wants to be taken seriously will need to provide their customers with high spec mobile-optimization. This means that anyone with a smartphone or tablet device can access the casino and its games via their mobile browser, without detracting from the quality found on the site’s desktop equivalent.
The best online casinos will go one step further than this by providing a dedicated app available to download on both Android and iOS mobile devices. Purpose-built for the mobile gamer, these apps deliver an outstanding gambling experience: fast loading times, excellent account management tools, and the facility to never miss a bonus or promotional offer by switching on the push notifications. At BestOnlineCasinos, we always recommend downloading these apps if you’re able to.
Another way in which online casinos continue to evolve is by developing their payment methods menu. Just as there is no universal best online casino, there is also no universal best payment method, as each option comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks that will appeal to different individuals based on their own gambling preferences.
Having said that, e-wallets such as Skrill and Neteller have become a popular all-round option for many online gamblers in recent years, offering high limits, quick deposits, and fast payout times. Other categories of casino payment methods include bank cards, prepaid cards, pay by phone services, and bank transfer systems – casinos that can offer customers the convenience and ease of all of these options are well regarded in our reviews.
When casinos diversify their customers’ banking options, they open themselves up to delivering faster withdrawal speeds – the time it takes from the moment of a withdrawal request to the funds being credited in the designated account. Older technologies, such as bank card payments, rank as the slowest in terms of withdrawal speeds, typically taking anywhere between 2-6 working days. But other payment services, particularly e-wallets, speed up the withdrawal process by serving as intermediaries between banks and casino operators. Once verification checks have been completed, these payment services can deliver withdrawal requests within 24 hours, which is a big boon for many casino players.
The tension at the heart of gambling is part of what makes it such an enjoyable pastime. But the last thing you want is uncertainty when it comes to technical issues, or when your money can be withdrawn. That’s why it’s important that casinos provide friendly and responsive customer support whenever it’s needed. The highest performing casinos in this category make use of a number of different customer support channels – such as email, phone, social media accounts, and live chat features – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Design and Usability
Is the site well-designed, well-organised, and easy to use? And is it free of technical glitches, malfunctions, and bugs? These are the kinds of questions we ask in this part of our review, knowing that casino sites can occasionally look and feel cluttered. It’s no good, for example, if a casino boasts of having a huge games portfolio, but doesn’t provide the filtering system or categorization that makes it easy to navigate the site. And although aesthetics may not be a top priority for many online gamblers, we believe that attractive design goes a long way in keeping new visitors at a site.
Terms and Conditions
We’ve spoken a bit about how a casino’s terms and conditions will impact the overall quality of a bonus, and players must always be mindful of this. In this part of our casino review, we assess the player-friendly nature of a site’s terms and conditions to see whether they represent too much of a barrier to a player’s chances of winning money.
If you’re new to online gambling, you’ll quickly learn about wagering requirements – a common condition of player bonuses that determine how many times your bonus funds must be wagered before they can turn a profit. Wagering requirements are just one of the terms and conditions you’ll come across at a casino site, but you should also pay close attention to time limits, game weightings, game exclusions, payment exclusions, minimum deposits, and winning caps. To avoid any unexpected surprises and to understand what’s expected of you when playing with bonus funds, make sure you always read the T&Cs in full.
By evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of casino sites through a consideration of the above categories, we can confidently arrive at a trustworthy account of an online casino. Our reviewing process is dedicated to providing accurate information that allows our users to make a balanced decision about where to gamble online, free from biases or advertising commitments. These comprehensive guides have been written with users in mind, providing trustworthy and transparent portraits of the best casinos around in ‘December.