There are plenty of sites doing online casino reviews these days. Unfortunately, though, not all of them are exactly what you would call honest. There is a lot going on behind the scenes, hidden from the eyes of the average casino player, that can influence many of the reviews you see. If you’re depending on casino review sites to lead you in the right direction, it’s crucial that you learn to tell the honest reviewers from the con artists just trying to make quick cash.
Competition is fierce in more ways than one. Online casinos are constantly competing with each other to bring in more gamblers. This leads to competition for good positions and positive reviews on review sites — one of their major sources of traffic. This quest for better exposure can result in everything from polite requests to pure bribery in exchange for a good listing.
As far as the review sites themselves go, things are not always what they seem. Some sites are run by honest people who like what they do and genuinely want to be helpful. Others exist purely as a method to make money — sometimes in very dishonest ways. Many other sites sit somewhere in the middle. Being able to tell who’s who can be the difference between cashing out a big win and not being able to cash out at all.
Understanding Affiliate Commisions
The first thing you need to understand is that there is a monetary relationship between the online casinos and the casino review sites. All casinos have what is known as an affiliate program, and all review sites take advantage of them — including this one.
The basic idea of these programs is that the casino pays a commision to sites that refer new players to them. When a player clicks a link to go to one of the casinos, the casino can track where the player is coming from. If that player then spends some money, a commision is paid to the person or site that made the referral. You can think of it as a small finder’s fee for bringing in new gamblers. It’s also important to note that these commisions don’t affect player deposits, bonuses, or odds of winning.
A good online casino review site is going to deliver honest reviews regardless of any commission that might be offered. Questionable or deceptive review sites will say anything to get you to click through one of their links and pad their commissions.
If these deceptive sites are particularly good at what they’re doing, shady casinos might even offer them more money to push their casinos harder. This is where things can get downright dangerous. You could end up not only having a bad experience but getting flat out ripped off.
And so, with all of that in mind, here’s the Yes No Casino guide to spotting bad and/or deceiving online casino reviews and review sites.
1. All The Reviews Are Good
The most obvious clue that a review site is not on the up and up is that all of their reviews are positive. Even though personal opinions are going to vary, with all of the casinos on the Internet today, it’s impossible that someone isn’t going to find at least one that they don’t like.
If all the reviews you see on a site are positive, there’s a very good chance that the site owner doesn’t care where you play. He just wants you to click on his affiliate links and get him a commission, regardless of what might be waiting for you on the other side.
2. Review Text Is Taken From The Casino Site
When the reviews barely include, or don’t include original text, this should be a big warning sign. It’s one thing to take some text from a site to show how the casino represents itself and then give your own opinion. It’s another thing to just copy text from the casino site without adding anything more.
If a review site is just copying text from the casino sites and adding three, four, or five-star ratings, this is a pretty good indication that the person doing the reviews hasn’t even bothered to create an account and look at the inside of the casino. Again, they’re just after that commission.
3. Missing Pages Or Broken Links
An important characteristic of any good review site is that it’s updated regularly. The Internet and Internet casinos are constantly changing. A site that doesn’t keep up with the times loses it’s usefulness quickly.
A telltale sign that a site is not being maintained properly is the presence of missing pages, errors, or broken links. When a site owner is keeping up with everything, bad links get removed, errors get fixed, and everything stays up to date.
If you click on links that don’t seem to go anywhere, you should look for another review site. At best, the site is just old and out of date. At worst, it could be a site put up by a deceptive webmaster who’s trying to do anything from leading you into shady casinos to trying to get you to install malware.
4. The Reviews Read Like Advert Scripts
If you pay attention, the language used in the reviews on a site can give you an indication of whether the site is trying to deliver honest reviews or just trying to promote anything they think will make money.
If you think about it, when someone has really taken the time to look through a casino and play some of the games, the review they write is going to read like a story. They’re going to tell you, “Well first I created my account. Then I played some slots. After that, I checked out some of the table games.” etc. They’ll most likely include some dry information about deposits and payouts and that sort of thing, but the overall review will tell a story.
Many deceptive Internet casino reviews don’t read like a story at all. They’re filled with marketing language. They’re designed to promote, not to inform. They’re not even close to relating an experience. You’ll see lots of words like “cutting edge” or “state of the art”. The intent is to get you excited and make you move forward.
If you feel like a review is pushing you to go to the site and sign up, that should be a red flag. Stop for a moment and take a deep breath. Look over the review and decide if you’re reading a real story or simply being taken in by a bit of slick advertising.
5. You See The Same Text All Over The Site
A big giveaway that something fishy is going on is when you find the same basic review appearing in multiple places throughout a site. Many less-than-trustworthy review sites simply don’t want to take the time to write up a whole bunch of original reviews. What they’ll do instead is write a few casino reviews, then chop them up and rearrange them with copy and paste and distribute them throughout the site.
This tactic is fairly easy to spot by just looking at three or four reviews on a given site. If you look at a few reviews and they all say the same basic thing, it’s another good indicator that the writer hasn’t even bothered to create an account and look inside the casino.
Take Your Time And Save Your Bankroll
As you can see, it’s not too hard to spot dishonest online casino reviews once you know what to look for. The common thread that seems to run through all shady review sites is laziness. You may have noticed that everything we pointed out above is given away by the scammer’s desire to do as little work as possible while separating you from your money.
I’d like to think that you get all the information you need right here at Yes No Casino, but if you do feel the need to explore elsewhere, keep these five warning signs in mind and you should be able to steer clear of the con artists who are just out to make fast cash at your expense.