How Reliable Are Online Casino Reviews?

How Reliable Are Online Casino Reviews?

Do you ever wonder how reliable those online casino reviews are? When a reviewer says that an online casino is “most trusted,” does that really mean anything? Let’s take a look at who writes them and why they do so. I’ll also explain how to find the best reviews. You won’t be surprised to learn that much of the information online is outdated. Many review websites take a “write once, revise seldom” approach to producing and managing their content.

There’s a financial incentive for writing online casino reviews, but not all online reviews are trying to make money. If you visit forums where players discuss the games they play and the casinos they have joined, you’ll usually find there are restrictions on how they can link to those casinos.

Many forum owners allow no links whatsoever. Some forum owners may require their members to use links that the forums supply. If you hover you mouse cursor over the link or use the “view source” option in your browser (and we know this is hard to do on a smart phone) you can see if the link points directly to the casino site without extra code or if it redirects to some other URL first. An unadulterated link at least tells you no one will make any money if you click on their link and visit the Website they are talking about.

Most online casino reviews are written by freelance writers. In fact, I’ve written casino reviews for some of the most popular gambling review sites on the web. I personally know many of the other writers who create this content, too. Although dozens of freelancers specialize in online gambling content full-time, thousands of freelancers just dabble.

The casual visitor never knows who wrote most articles. Sometimes the specialists are asked to use a different idiom (say, British or Australian English as opposed to American English). Sometimes the specialists are asked to use certain phrases throughout their copy. Most online casino reviews don’t include a byline.

But who are these freelance writers?

Many of them are real players, people who have gambled with their own money at land based casinos and/or online casinos. As experienced gamblers, they know what to look for in terms of quality of game play and what special functions make the games more interesting. The specialists also learn about the inside angle on game design, such as what the expected return to player may be for a given game, when the game was first released, etc.

But because the expert writers have published so many articles across the years, other freelancers are now easily able to find articles that explain many details and use those as sources for their own articles. It’s possible you’ll read reviews written by people who have never played at an online casino.

The major review websites know about the lack of expertise among many freelancers. They’ve started raising their standards to ensure they publish solid reviews from experienced players. And yet, as a freelancer, how do you play at so many online casinos without going broke or becoming fabulously wealthy?

The truth is that I play a lot of the free games when I review games. And I rely on my past experience at joining online casinos when reading the casinos’ membership requirements. Writers do join a lot of casinos and even play at them for real money. For example, depending on where you live you could qualify for a few thousand dollars in no deposit bonus credits within a week just by joining enough of the right casinos. Some freelancers really do sign up for these deals. After all, you’re not risking your won money this way.

What To Look for in an Online Casino Review

Both online casinos and review site publishers should prefer honest opinions over glowing, praise-laden fake reviews. Wouldn’t casinos rather attract players who understand what they are getting into than players who are likely to be upset the first time they run into a condition they did not expect?

The best gambling site review publishers want to establish themselves as leading authorities in the field. They want to earn your trust so that you’ll come back to them in the future and recommend them to your friends.

An honest review may be full of praise. But it’s safer, as a freelancer, to just stick to the facts. The purpose of the review is really to introduce new players to the casino and explain how its system works (including deposit and withdrawal options) and what games are available. There’s more to writing a good online casino review than that, but as a prospective player, you should want to know at least those 2 key points about any online casino.

A review that doesn’t do much more than tell you about the bonus code and the name of the casino isn’t much of a review. Now there are some websites that specialize in “short review” styles. These websites are targeting experienced players who just want to know what the latest bonus promotions are and where to find them. Inexperienced players should be wary of following those kinds of reviews until they have learned more about the online gaming experience.

Someone who is just rewriting what other reviewers have already said may make mistakes and leave out something important. They may also write awkward sentences if they are trying to avoid creating an exact duplicate of their source article. A good, well-written review is thoughtful and covers a lot of details. No review worth reading is going to try to explain everything because that is what the casinos’ terms and conditions are for.

But the best online casino reviews leave you feeling like there will be no major surprises when you join a given casino.

Why Are There So Many Online Review Sites?

Is it really good that there are so many online review sites?

After all, if the same people are writing all these articles then why do we need so many review sites?

The answer is simple: we as players do NOT need all these review sites.

How many gas stations do you need when you want to fill up your car’s tank? You only need one.Just as there’s a lot of competition in the corner gas station market, so there’s a lot of competition in the online casino review market. Those sites exist because people hope to make money by referring players to online casinos.

But you’ll notice that the best online casino reviewers gently nudge their visitors toward certain casinos. There are 2reasons for this on the most trustworthy sites:

  1. Those are the casinos the sites have referral agreements with.
  2. Those sites are highly regarded by players and often recommended in casual online discussions. It behooves the reviewers to recommend good, safe online casinos to their visitors.

The competition should not hurt you as a player looking for good recommendations. You can compare reviews on different sites. You should know by the writing style if you’re reading content written by the same team.

But because of the intense competition the search engines also look for quality signals independent of the knowledge of the writers. You might find a strange mix of review sites when you search for information–the site publishers are using search engine optimization to outrank each other. They might be better at promoting their websites in search engine results than in actually playing and reviewing online gambling games.

That competition also means there is an incentive for a secondary market. Someone may build up a website with an eye toward selling it to one of the mid-tier players in the market who is already making money.

Why do these guys want to buy websites?

So they don’t have to invest the time and resources in building up content and traffic. They save money by underbidding on the sites that already exist.

If an online review site is making money, it might be worth selling for less than it cost to make because it has already paid the original owner a decent return on that investment. While it might seem like there are a lot of altruistic players sharing their ideas and opinions with you on the web, the mundane truth is that nearly everyone is trying to make some money by making referrals. Honest reviews are preferred by the searchers and visitors because they will quickly learn to avoid websites that give bad advice.

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