Rating Guidelines

How We Create Statistically Accurate Ratings

Our approach to rating online casinos is grounded in rigorous analysis and expert evaluation. We employ a systematic process that includes in-depth scrutiny of various critical aspects.

We Employ Experts

Our team comprises individuals who are not only knowledgeable about online casinos but are also avid players themselves. This firsthand experience enables them to assess casinos from a player’s perspective, understanding the intricacies of gaming platforms, industry standards, and emerging trends. To learn more about their expertise and years of experience, feel free to visit our Meet the Team page.

We Gather Data

Gathering comprehensive data forms the cornerstone of our rating process. Here’s how we meticulously analyze each aspect:

Canadian Availability

Availability to Canadians

PlayCasinos is focused on the Canadian market, so one of the qualities that matters most to us is whether or not a casino is available to Canadian players. Casinos that do not accept Canadian players receive a low score on our site by default. After all, we can hardly advise our readers to sign up at a casino which does not welcome Canadian players.

Thankfully, the vast majority of casino providers recognize the importance of their Canadian player base and accept players from Canada.

LicenseLicensing and Security

Every reputable online casino is licensed by an authorized gambling authority. The gold standard licensors include the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC) and the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). Gambling authorities promote safe gaming in a regulated environment and ensure that the games available on the site are fair, fun and unrigged.

We also check that the casino uses SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption technology, which ensures that all communications between the player’s browser and the casino’s website are encrypted and secure. This protects your sensitive information, such as personal details and financial transactions.

GamesGame Quality and Variety

PlayCasinos puts significant weight on the kind of games available at an online casino. Our ideal casino is one that has something for everyone – a healthy range of slot games, plenty of table games, a well-stocked live casino section, a sportsbook, and even some novelties like scratchcards or keno thrown in for taste. The casinos that tick every one of these boxes are likely to get a higher rating from us.

That said, some casinos choose to go down the specialist route by stocking exclusively live casino games or focusing more intently on their sports betting offering. We do not penalize these casinos with a lower rating, as they are focusing on a particular client niche and they have every right to. If they do what they advertise well, we give them the good rating they deserve.

Customer SupportUser Experience

We particularly prize casinos that have 24/7 live support, through live chat or over the phone, so that you don’t have to wait around anxiously until your problem is solved. Playing at an online casino should be effortless fun and being able to talk to customer support around the clock is very important to us.

We also evaluate the intuitiveness of the casino’s website layout and navigation. The goal here is easy access to essential information, intuitive game navigation, and simple account management. Finally, we assess how well the casino’s website and games perform on mobile devices, including responsiveness, load times, and the availability of a dedicated mobile app where applicable.

Payment OptionsPayment Options and Payout Speed

Players need to feel safe and secure when depositing and collecting their winnings at an online casino. The speed with which payouts are processed plays an important part in our final rating. Casinos that process deposits and withdrawals as quickly as possible using safe and legitimate payment methods are likely to rank higher than casinos that keep you waiting around.

We also pay particular attention to the available payment methods. The ideal casino has a wide range of payment options for customers to choose from so that every player can make deposits and withdrawals using what’s most convenient for them.

Wagering RequirementsFairness and Responsible Gambling

For this aspect, we look for certifications from reputable independent testing agencies like eCOGRA or iTech Labs. These certifications confirm that the casino’s games are fair and operate on RNG (Random Number Generator) technology for unbiased outcomes.

We also evaluate the availability and effectiveness of responsible gambling tools offered, such as deposit limits, self-exclusion options, and links to support organizations.

VIPVIP and Loyalty programs

Everybody loves a good reward and VIP and loyalty programs are a casino’s way of saying thanks to its players for sticking around for as long as they have. These can come in the form of free spins, cash prizes, exclusive treatment (such as faster withdrawals) and physical gifts such as vacations, cars and luxury tech.

VIP and loyalty programs are not the be-all and end-all for us – there are plenty of casinos on PlayCasinos which do not have such programs but still have excellent ratings. However, we will always stick to a few extra points for casinos which offer great value and incentives to their players.

PromotionsBonuses and Promotions

Casino offers keep gameplay fresh and interesting, as the player has a reason to sign up and keep checking back to see what’s new. A casino which manages to keep clients on their toes (in a good way, of course) through creative promotions, competitions and tournaments certainly earns a few brownie points from us. When we rate this aspect, we scrutinize the terms and conditions to ensure transparency and fairness to players. Most importantly, we look at wagering requirements.

In a review, we will always flag if a wagering requirement seems too extreme, and we will advise you right away not to take on a bonus if it does not seem to be in your best interest. Casinos which keep their wagering requirements achievable (35x or lower) are much more likely to get our seal of approval.

Reputation & FameInstant Win Games

This is a new feature that we recently included in our data-gathering procedure. Using advanced crawling technologies and AI-driven methodologies, we aggregate and analyze user reviews across the web. We also collect information from our readers. The goal is to obtain insights into the general feel of an online casino as well as its reputation. This inevitably reflects user experience and as a result plays a significant role in our overall rating.

Mystery Players

View of Ontario by Juan Rojas for Unsplash

To gain insights from diverse player perspectives, we have enlisted over 50 anonymous online gamblers who report back to us regularly after playing at various online casinos. Their anonymous field reports provide valuable firsthand feedback on aspects like game variety, payout speed, and overall player experience.

We Analyse Data

The next step is to analyze our data. At PlayCasinos, we have over 1,500 casino brands in our portfolio and each is analyzed based on advanced methodologies, as listed below. These help us create accurate and reliable rating scores for online casinos.

Wilson Score Interval

We use this method to ensure that our ratings accurately reflect genuine user approval. The Wilson Score Interval is a statistical technique that goes beyond simple counts of positive and negative reviews. Instead, it considers the number of reviews available. In other words, this method allows us to confirm that a casino with a high rating is genuinely liked by its players, even if there’s not a lot of data to work with. This approach is particularly relevant in assessing the reputation and fame of online casinos.

Bayesian Averages

Bayesian Averages incorporate prior knowledge when calculating average ratings. We use this technique to make sure that newer casinos with fewer reviews are not unfairly penalized. By incorporating this technique, we stabilize ratings and provide a more accurate reflection of a site’s quality, especially for platforms with limited user feedback.

Item Response Theory (IRT)

We use IRT to measure the ability of players to win or lose in games. This advanced statistical model accounts for the inherent difficulty of the games themselves and provides insights into their fairness. Thanks to this model, we can accurately adjust our ratings based on the quality of a casino’s gaming experience.

Cluster Analysis

We use Cluster Analysis to categorize casinos with similar features by identifying patterns and similarities among platforms. This helps us create personalized recommendations for our readers and enhances the relevance of our listings based on specific casino features.

Predictive Modeling

With Predictive Modeling, we use historical data to forecast future outcomes and understand the behaviour of our Canadian readers. Specifically, this model can help us determine future customer satisfaction or the potential rise in popularity of new casinos. In other words, Predictive Modeling allows us to maintain relevant and insightful recommendations, and refine our ratings by anticipating changes in user experience quality over time.

We Give Scores

These methodologies and expert evaluations can be rather complex. To help our readers easily grasp our assessments, every final evaluation is converted into a simple rating on a scale from 1 to 5. This way, our readers can get a comprehensive overview of the quality and reliability of an online casino. The table below shows how our scores are broken down.

Ratings Description
4.8 to 5 Exceptional casinos with outstanding features across all criteria. These casinos offer top-tier gaming experiences, superior customer support, extensive game selections, generous bonuses, and impeccable security.
4.5 to 4.7 Excellent stand-out casinos that excel in most aspects, but have minor areas for improvement.
4.0 to 4.4 Very good casinos, offering a solid gaming experience with notable strengths in key areas. However, they don’t stand out from the lot.
3.5 to 3.9 Average casinos that offer a decent gaming experience. While they may have some strengths, there are noticeable areas that could be improved.
3.4 and below Casinos with significant room for improvement. We do not recommend casinos with these ratings as they have notable weaknesses.

Why Trust Our Ratings?

Our ratings are built on expertise, extensive data collection across various critical aspects, and advanced statistical models for data analysis. Thanks to this detailed rating approach, we have been the number one source for online casino information in Canada for years.

We also follow strict editorial guidelines for every piece of content, and our commitment to transparency and accuracy is evident in every review and recommendation we provide.

For more information on why thousands of users trust us as their top online casino resource in Canada, explore our dedicated Why Trust Us? page.