There are several criteria that decide how we rate casinos. After all, the sheer range of online casinos in the Australian market is vast and the quality of each site varies. So, in order to make accurate assessments and comparisons, we have a checklist of key features. This helps us determine the best Aussie casinos and the ones that are still playing catch-up. So, here are our main talking points when rating online casinos…
We start with the things that first appeal to Aussie players. This begins with the welcome bonus and free spins and extends to reload bonuses and cashback deals. We also look at if there are bonuses dedicated to live casino players or mobile users. But we’re not just looking at the headline figures. We also want to ensure that the wagering requirements fall within industry standards. After all, it’s no good receiving a huge lump sum in bonus cash if it’s almost impossible to complete the wagering. Furthermore, beyond the welcome bonus phases, we assess the other promotions taking place throughout the year. This can include seasonal promotions and slots tournaments, for example. In short, then, we leave no stone unturned.
The majority of a player’s time will, inevitably, be spent playing casino games. Therefore, it’s vital that there is a good selection of slot machines (pokies), progressive jackpots, table games and live dealer titles. Additionally, we look to see if there are some extra gambling avenues, such as sports betting and player-versus-player poker. Plus, it’s always worth checking that a good range of some of the world’s best games providers are ready and waiting. For example, there should be at least one of the big hitters, such as Microgaming, NetEnt or Playtech. Also, where there are lots of choices available, there needs to be a way to search through and filter them. We score Australian casino sites highly if they do all of the above.
Having all the casino games under the sun is one thing. But unless the payout percentages are right up there with the best of them, then it’s not going to provide the best experience. Therefore, we pay close attention to the return to player (RTP) percentages touted by the online casino. We’re looking for video slots and pokies with RTPs in the high 90s, for example. We can forgive multi-million-dollar progressive jackpots being on the low side but not non-jackpot slots. In the same vein, we also like and want to see a sufficiently low house edge being offered on classic table games like roulette, blackjack and baccarat. When a casino isn’t taking the mickey on all of the above, we’re likely to rate it very highly in this category.
Coupled with the ability to search through and filter games come general site navigation and overall ease of use. Australian players always like to have the most important things right at their fingertips. Plus, all of the main pages should be available within one or two clicks tops. For example, accessing the cashier area and making a deposit shouldn’t be a chore. Likewise when it some to requesting a withdrawal of customer winnings. So, as another example, if it takes us forever to find information about a promotion, we will be docking some points. Having said that, most gambling sites in Australia more than cut the mustard in this regard. Things can always be improved, though, of course. And Australian customers deserve the best.
When it comes to adding cash funds to a playing account, customers will need to choose a payment method. Therefore, the wider the range of available options, the better, at least in our book. And we always advise our users that it really pays (excuse the pun) to choose wisely. Coupled with the number of available payment methods is the small print on casino payment pages. For example, the things we always consider include deposit and withdrawal limits, transfer and processing times and any additional fees. Slow withdrawal times, for example, can really taint a customer’s experience of an online casino. Therefore, we consider this area to be of high importance whenever we are assessing and rating an online casino site.
It’s often overlooked. But good customer support is vital to all of the best Aussie online casinos. As players ourselves, we know that anything can happen and that an unexpected problem might need to be resolved quickly. It could be related to game restrictions, depositing problems or an active bonus – all of which can kill the excitement of a gambling session. Therefore, to receive top marks, we want to see round-the-clock customer support for Australian players. We also want to see knowledgeable, friendly and punctual staff making themselves available via live chat, email and (on occasion) phone. In this way, any problems can be nipped in the bud before they escalate. In short, then, customer support is a key criterion for us.
This is another one that isn’t considered by many Aussie players. However, by assessing an Australian online casino site for its reputation, we can pretty much guarantee that the player will have a great time. That’s why we always keep an eye on gambling forums, social media and online casino blacklists to see if a site is improving or pulling a fast one. As they say, it takes years to build a great reputation but only a second to ruin it. Therefore, we take this stuff very seriously. Additionally, we always make sure to check the ownership of the site. Often, online casinos are part of groups and what happens at another of the group’s sites can affect everything. This is why it’s important that we do some thorough research.
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The return to player (RTP) information can be found within the game itself. Clicking on the "i" icon, rules or settings usually gets you to the RTP information. RTP is expressed as a percentage and the closer it is to 100%, the better it is for the player. You can also find info about volatility in the same way.
This information is usually contained in the footer area of an online casino's site. There should be an icon for the licensing authority that will take you to the information about the license held by the casino. Otherwise, there may be a text link contained within the footer area of the site along with the license number.
First of all, we look at the contact pages and other ways to get in touch with the customer support team. We're looking for 24-hour support, if possible, and as many contact methods as possible. From there, we send over some test questions by email or via live chat to test out the response time and knowledge.