When you read a review of a gambling site, whether on our site or any of the other sites out there, one thing you are probably asking yourself is “How on earth can these guys review all these casinos and ensure that all the sites are legit?” We won’t lie to you; it isn’t an easy task. We look at several factors when we sit down to review a site, and after an in-depth analysis, we can make a determination as to the legitimacy of a site, and when we do, we can recommend it to you as somewhere we feel comfortable with you making a deposit and playing.
To give you an idea of what exactly we look at when we are trying to see if a site is legit, here is a small overview of some of the most important factors our team of experts takes into consideration.
We Start in the Office
When a site comes up for review, the first thing we do is assign it to someone in our office. To ensure the site gets the proper level of attention, we ask around to see if anyone has any experience with the site. Our team has hundreds of combined years of expertise in the online gambling world; some as gamblers themselves, and others working in other various parts of the industry. In some cases, we might find that one of our staff has been playing with a site for a while, or even did some work with them in the past.
What does this do for our review process? Well, for starters, if a member of our team has first-hand knowledge of things like dealing with customer service, or game selection, then it saves us a little bit of research time. It may not be that person with the intimate knowledge who ends up writing the review (we try to keep them as impartial as possible to preserve our own legitimacy), but having that extra layer of knowledge can go a long way when it comes to our recommendations.
Then We Reach Out To Our Network
After we are done an internal discussion, and the assignment has been given to one of our staff, that person reaches out to their contact list to see if anyone in their network can shed some light on the site in question. Another benefit of having so many years of experience on board at Legit Gambling Sites is that our network of contacts is vast; we usually come across someone who either knows people at the site or at the very least has some insight on their history. We are the first to tell you that we don’t always have all the information ourselves, and the more sets of eyes we can focus on a site, the less likely we will miss anything that could impact our recommendations.
Licensing and Auditing
The first thing we look for when we start a review is to see where the casino is licensed. The different licensing jurisdictions have very varying levels of integrity, and that factors significantly into our decision-making process. Now, we understand that if a site wants to take players from a “gray market” country, they may be limited in their options when it comes to licensing. However, if a company wants to prove their legitimacy to the public, having one or more gaming licenses is an excellent way to start.
The most sought-after gaming license is that from the UK Gambling Commission; it is also one of the hardest to get. If a site is lucky enough to be awarded a UK license, it probably means they are going to have to shut down many other countries as a result. If a site isn’t as concerned about taking UK clients as they are from other countries in the world, the next best bet is Malta. From there, the jurisdictions become far less stringent, and as a result, the licenses have less value in our eyes. We do give some credit to sites which at the very least go through the application process in countries like Curacao, but it still scores a little less than some of the European licenses.
Also, a site should be using software that has been properly audited by a third party auditing firm. These companies like TST and Gambling Associates, ensure the integrity of the casino software being used to power a site. An auditing firm will look at things like the game rules and the Random Number generator to make sure that all components of the software platform are performing in a way that adheres to the rules of each individual game.
Another thing we look at when trying to determine a site’s legitimacy is the transparency they show with regards to the ownership of the operation. Many companies will have their corporate information posted on their site, which is a great start. Even though many of these companies are privately listed, the fact that some will list an office address lends a little bit more credibility to the overall brand.
We are all aware that any online business comes with some degree of anonymity. However, given how many hoops an online gambling site makes their players jump through to process a withdrawal, the least they can do is be as transparent as they can (without risking getting into any trouble themselves, of course).
How They Deal with Complaints
For many of our reviewers, this is the most crucial piece when determining the legitimacy of an online gambling site. When a player has an issue with a site, usually they bring it up on one of the many online gambling watchdog sites. These sites will have open forums where players can lodge complaints against an online operator.
We are all too aware that many of these complaints can be coming from players who are just pissed off that they have had a losing session with the site in questions; trying to bitch about them on a public forum is never the answer. What we watch for, however, is the response that comes from the site itself. A good operator will have someone who regularly monitors these chat rooms and forums, and is quick to respond with statements of fact that either helps clear up the issue or show that there was never an issue in the first place. We have seen all kinds of responses from sites in our years of covering this business; the best ones are those that are short, to the point, and truthful even when the casino is at fault.
We put in as many layers of detail as we can when we are reviewing an online gambling site. The purpose of the exercise is to bring you the most honest, detailed review possible so you can make a determination as to whether or not to choose that site for your play. If we are going to stick our neck out and put our reputation on the line by recommending a site, you can rest assured that we have taken all the steps possible to determine that the site in question is indeed legit and worthy of your time and more importantly your money.