These are our editorial guidelines and how we evaluate sportsbooks, online casinos, bingos, and other gambling and gaming organizations
At Firing Squad, our mission is to provide our readers with accurate, comprehensive, and unbiased reviews of online casinos. We prioritize the legality and fairness of gambling platforms, ensuring that our users have a safe and enjoyable experience. This document outlines the guidelines our reviewers must follow to maintain the integrity and quality of our content.
2.1. Preliminary Research:
- Licensing: Every casino should have a valid license from a recognized gambling authority. This license ensures that the casino operates under strict regulations and standards.
- Verification: Check the casino’s website footer or “About Us” section for licensing information. Cross-reference this with the official website of the licensing authority.
- Jurisdiction: Some jurisdictions are stricter than others. For instance, casinos licensed in the UK or Malta are generally considered more trustworthy than those licensed in Curacao.
- Company Background: Research the parent company or entity that owns the casino.
- History: Look into the company’s history in the gambling industry. A long-standing reputation can be a positive sign.
- Other Ventures: Check if the company owns other casinos and their respective reputations. This can give insights into their overall business practices.
- Forums and Discussion Boards: Websites like AskGamblers or CasinoMeister have active communities where players discuss their experiences.
- Common Issues: Identify recurring problems or complaints. If many users report the same issue, it’s likely a genuine concern.
- Resolution: Pay attention to how the casino addresses these complaints. A proactive approach to problem-solving is a good sign.
- Social Media: Check the casino’s social media profiles for user interactions. Negative comments without responses might indicate poor customer service.
2.2. User Experience (UX) Evaluation:
- Layout: The casino’s website should have a clean and organized layout, making it easy for users to find what they’re looking for.
- Search Functionality: A functional search bar is essential, especially for casinos with extensive game libraries.
- Filtering: Users should be able to filter games by type, provider, popularity, etc.
- Mobile Website: Not every casino has a dedicated app, but their website should be mobile-optimized. This ensures that players can access the casino on-the-go.
- Functionality: All features available on the desktop version should work seamlessly on mobile.
- Load Times: Mobile versions should be optimized for speed, ensuring quick load times even on slower connections.
- Availability: Support should be available 24/7, or at least during peak hours. This ensures that players from different time zones can get assistance.
- Channels: Multiple channels (e.g., live chat, email, phone) should be available. Live chat is especially crucial for urgent issues.
- Response Time: Test the response time for each channel. For live chat, responses should be almost immediate, while emails should be answered within 24 hours.
- Knowledgeability: The support team should be well-informed and capable of addressing a wide range of issues, from technical glitches to transaction queries.
2.3. Game Selection:
- Game Categories: A reputable casino should offer a broad spectrum of games, including:
- Slots: Classic, video, and progressive jackpot slots.
- Table Games: Variations of blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and poker.
- Live Dealer: Real-time games with live dealers, such as live blackjack or live roulette.
- Specialty Games: Bingo, keno, scratch cards, and other niche games.
- Updates & New Releases: The casino should regularly update its game library with new releases from top providers, ensuring that players have access to the latest games.
- Reputation: Partnering with well-known and respected software providers like Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech, and Evolution Gaming indicates a commitment to quality.
- Certifications: Check if the software providers have certifications from independent testing agencies, ensuring game fairness.
- Game Performance: Games should load quickly, run smoothly, and be free of glitches or bugs.
- Graphics & Sound: High-quality graphics and sound enhance the gaming experience. Reviewers should note if games meet modern standards in these areas.
2.4. Bonus Redemption:
- Terms & Conditions: Every bonus offer should come with clear and concise terms and conditions (T&Cs). These T&Cs should cover:
- Wagering Requirements: The number of times a bonus amount must be wagered before it can be withdrawn.
- Game Restrictions: Some bonuses might be restricted to specific games.
- Time Limits: Bonuses often come with an expiration date, after which any unused bonus or winnings from the bonus might be forfeited.
- Maximum Cashout: Some bonuses might have a cap on the amount you can cash out from bonus-related winnings.
- Redemption Process: Detail the steps required to claim a bonus. This can include:
- Bonus Codes: Some casinos require a code to unlock a bonus.
- Minimum Deposit: Many deposit bonuses have a minimum deposit requirement.
- Automatic vs. Manual: Some bonuses are automatically added after a deposit, while others might require manual activation or contacting customer support.
- Feedback: After redeeming a bonus, there should be clear feedback to the player, such as a confirmation message or updated bonus balance.
- Issues & Resolution: Document any issues faced during the redemption process and how they were (or weren’t) resolved. This can give insights into the casino’s efficiency and customer-centric approach.
- Definition: Wagering requirements dictate how many times a player must play through the bonus amount before being able to withdraw any winnings derived from it.
- Example: A $100 bonus with a 30x wagering requirement means players must place bets totaling $3,000 before withdrawing winnings from the bonus.
- Contribution Percentages: Not all games contribute equally to the wagering requirements.
- Slots: Typically contribute 100% to the wagering requirements.
- Table Games: Might contribute only 10-20% due to the lower house edge.
- Exclusions: Some games might be entirely excluded from contributing to the wagering requirements.
- Comparison: Compare the casino’s wagering requirements to industry standards. Extremely high requirements can be seen as predatory or unfair to players.
- Transparency: The wagering requirements should be clearly stated in the bonus terms and conditions, without any hidden clauses.
- Payment Methods: Document the variety of payment methods available, such as credit/debit cards, e-wallets (e.g., PayPal, Skrill), bank transfers, and cryptocurrencies.
- Fees: Some casinos might charge fees for certain deposit methods. These fees should be clearly stated and reasonable.
- Processing Time: Deposits should ideally be instant, allowing players to start playing immediately. Any delays should be noted and explained.
- Minimum/Maximum Limits: Casinos often set a minimum and maximum deposit amount. Ensure these limits are reasonable and in line with industry standards.
- Processing Time: The time it takes for a casino to process a withdrawal request can vary. Instant withdrawals are ideal, but some methods might take several business days.
- Fees: As with deposits, note any fees associated with withdrawals. High withdrawal fees can be a deterrent for many players.
- Minimum/Maximum Limits: Just like deposits, withdrawals also have minimum and maximum limits. These should be clearly stated and reasonable.
- Verification Process: Most casinos require players to verify their identity before processing a withdrawal. This can involve submitting documents like ID, proof of address, and proof of payment method. The verification process should be secure, straightforward, and efficient.
- Pending Period: Some casinos have a pending period during which a player can reverse a withdrawal. This period should be reasonable, with industry standards typically being 24-48 hours.
2.7. Fair Play:
Random Number Generator (RNG):
- Certification: RNGs should be certified by recognized third-party testing agencies, ensuring that game outcomes are genuinely random and not manipulated.
- Testing Frequency: Reputable casinos have their RNGs tested regularly, not just upon initial certification. Look for evidence of periodic testing and re-certification.
- Transparency: Casinos should be transparent about their RNGs, providing information about how they work and their certification status.
Return to Player (RTP):
- Definition: RTP is the percentage of all the wagered money a slot machine will pay back to players over time. For instance, if a slot has an RTP of 95%, it means that for every $100 wagered, it will pay back $95 over a prolonged period.
- Listing: Casinos should list the RTP for each game, especially slots. This allows players to make informed decisions about which games to play.
- Comparison: Compare the listed RTPs with industry averages. Games with significantly lower RTPs can be seen as less favorable to players.
- Third-party Audits: Reputable casinos often have their RTPs audited by third parties to ensure accuracy and fairness. Look for evidence of such audits and their results.
3. Content Creation:
- Bias-Free Writing: Ensure that reviews are written without any personal biases or preferences. The focus should be on presenting facts and user experiences.
- Avoiding Conflicts of Interest: If a reviewer has any personal or financial ties to a casino, they should not be assigned to review it. Transparency is key to maintaining trust.
- Consistency: All reviews should follow a consistent format and criteria to ensure fairness in evaluation. This consistency helps readers compare different casinos effectively.
- Language & Tone: Use clear and straightforward language. Avoid using jargon or technical terms without explanations. The tone should be informative and neutral.
- Structure: Reviews should be well-organized, with clear headings and subheadings. This helps readers easily find the information they’re looking for.
- Visual Aids: Incorporate relevant images, infographics, or videos to enhance understanding and engagement. For instance, screenshots of the casino’s interface or gameplay can be beneficial.
- Fact-Checking: Before publishing, ensure that all facts, figures, and claims are accurate. This includes bonus amounts, wagering requirements, licensing information, etc.
- Citing Sources: If external sources are used, they should be appropriately cited. This not only gives credit but also allows readers to verify information if they wish.
- Regular Updates: The online casino industry is dynamic, with changes occurring frequently. Ensure that reviews are updated regularly to reflect any changes in the casino’s offerings, policies, or user feedback.
- Interactive Elements: Consider incorporating interactive elements like polls, quizzes, or comment sections. This can increase user engagement and provide valuable feedback.
- Feedback Loop: Encourage readers to share their experiences or ask questions. This can be done through comment sections or dedicated feedback forms. Engaging with readers can provide insights for future reviews and updates.
3.5. Ethical Considerations:
- Transparency in Affiliations: If the website has any affiliate partnerships with casinos, this should be transparently disclosed. Readers should be aware if the site benefits from their interactions with certain casinos.
- Honesty in Reporting: Even if a casino is a major advertiser or affiliate partner, negative aspects or user complaints should not be downplayed or omitted. Integrity is paramount.
4. Ethical Considerations:
- Affiliate Disclosures: If Firing Squad has affiliate partnerships or earns commissions from certain casinos, this must be transparently disclosed at the beginning or end of a review. Readers have a right to know if the platform benefits financially from their interactions.
- Sponsored Content: If any content, such as a review or article, is sponsored by a casino or third party, this should be clearly indicated. Sponsored content can influence perceptions, and readers should be aware of any potential biases.
- Unbiased Reporting: Reviews and articles should be based on factual information and genuine user experiences. Avoid exaggerating positive aspects or downplaying negative ones, even if there’s a financial incentive to do so.
- Conflict of Interest: Reviewers should not have personal or financial ties to the casinos they’re reviewing. If such a conflict exists, the reviewer should be reassigned to ensure objectivity.
- User Data Protection: Any personal data collected from readers, such as email addresses for newsletters or feedback forms, should be stored securely. Adherence to data protection regulations, like GDPR, is crucial.
- No Data Sharing: Personal data should never be shared with third parties, including casinos or advertisers, without explicit user consent.
- Error Corrections: If mistakes or inaccuracies are found in content, they should be promptly corrected. Consider adding a correction note to maintain transparency with readers.
- Feedback Response: Actively engage with reader feedback, especially if they point out inaccuracies or biases. This not only builds trust but also improves content quality.
4.5. Respect for Readers:
- Avoiding Sensationalism: While catchy headlines can attract readers, avoid sensationalizing content or using clickbait tactics. Readers should get accurate information that matches the headline’s promise.
- Responsible Gambling: Always promote responsible gambling. Include disclaimers or links to resources for readers who might be struggling with gambling addiction.
|Preliminary Research||Legal Status||– Licensing types and validity – License number verification|
|Ownership||– Company background and history – Legal history and previous ventures|
|User Feedback||– Review sites and rating trends – Reviewer authenticity|
|User Experience (UX) Evaluation||Website Navigation||– Layout and search functionality – Game filtering options|
|Mobile Compatibility||– Mobile website optimization – Functionality and load times|
|Customer Support||– Availability and channels – Response time and knowledgeability|
|Game Selection||Variety||– Game categories and updates – New releases|
|Software Providers||– Reputation and certifications – Game performance and quality|
|Bonus Redemption||Clarity||– Clear terms & conditions – Wagering requirements and game restrictions|
|Usability||– Redemption process – Feedback and issue resolution|
|Wagering||Requirements||– Definition and contribution percentages – Comparison with industry standards|
|Fairness||– Transparency in requirements – Regular updates for accuracy|
|Transactions||Depositing Funds||– Payment methods and fees – Processing time and deposit limits|
|Withdrawal||– Processing time and fees – Verification process and pending period|
|Fair Play||RNG||– Certification and testing frequency – Transparency in RNG use|
|RTP||– Definition and listing – Comparison with industry averages|
Content Creation & Ethical Considerations
|Content Creation||Objectivity||– Bias-free writing – Avoiding conflicts of interest|
|Clarity||– Language & tone – Structure and visual aids|
|Accuracy||– Fact-checking and citing sources – Regular content updates|
|Engagement||– Interactive elements – Feedback loop and reader engagement|
|Ethical Considerations||Transparency||– Affiliate disclosures – Sponsored content indication|
|Integrity||– Unbiased reporting – Conflict of interest management|
|Privacy||– User data protection – No unauthorized data sharing|
|Accountability||– Error corrections – Active feedback response|
|Respect for Readers||– Avoiding sensationalism – Promoting responsible gambling|
|WHAT WE CHECK||HOW IT AFFECTS OUR RATING|
|Bonuses & Rewards||Casinos receive an extra star for showering both new and returning players with welcome bonuses and additional rewards.|
|Deposit Options||Varied, secure and convenient payment options play a big role in determining the rating of any online casino.|
|Withdrawal Times||The quicker the withdrawals, the higher the rating.|
|Casino Games||One of the biggest chunks of our rating criteria is focused on the quality, demand and diversity of casino games.|
|Customer Service & Security||Ratings can suffer slightly if there is no adequate customer support system available.|
|Regulations & Licences||Only licensed and regulated online casinos are considered for our rating process.|
Bonuses & RewardsBonuses heavily influence our casino ratings. The aim here is to give you easy access to online casinos with generous welcome offers, no deposit bonuses, free spins promotions, VIP rewards and more. For this to happen, our expert team reviews and compares numerous casinos but only those with the most competitive offers make the cut.
The best offers, though, don’t always mean the biggest bonus. If the bonus terms are unfavourable, then the bonus might fail to bring good value for your money. High wagering requirements, short expiration times, low winning caps and poor games eligibility all impact the quality of your bonuses. All of this and more is considered during our casino rating procedure.
Limited and unprotected banking options can significantly impact the quality of your gambling experience at Irish casinos. We aim to find online casinos that have a good range of reputable payment options available to use in Ireland.
In our casino reviews, you’ll always find a full list of deposit options available. As well, we display the minimum deposit required to claim your welcome bonus. We also make a point to inform you if any of the payment methods, mostly Skrill or Neteller, exclude players from receiving bonuses. Or if there are any sneaky fees involved too.
Our casino pros analyse every aspect of an online casino to provide you with up-to-date and accurate information. This includes withdrawal times linked to each payment method. In most cases, timings differ depending on the banking option. For example, bank cards can take up to 3-5 working days. On the other hand, bank transfers may take a tad longer, and your bank dictates the withdrawal speed in this instance.
Withdrawals via e-wallets are usually the speediest option. You’ll wait less than a day or two for your winnings to reach your bank account, depending on the site. But they can also have negatives, such as withdrawal processing fees.
Our effective rating system helps us to find well balanced online casino sites that can offer swift withdrawals. In this light, you know where you can extract your winnings quickly and safely.
Games are the foundation of any online casino. Our casino pros love playing them for fun or real money. This way, they get a good grasp on what’s on offer. Only they can decide if they can overlook any small casino imperfections because of an excellent games library. And, by excellent, we mean top-quality popular games, fun new releases, and well-executed sequels.
We rate online casinos best when they boast a diverse mix of slots, table games and live dealer options. Of course, extra points go to casinos that are powered by the top developers. Exclusive content or casino games from up and coming developers, if high-quality and entertaining, get top marks too.
Customer Service & Security
Professional, considerate and friendly customer assistance is what makes an online casino great. For this reason, it’s one of our key requirements when reviewing a casino. Another requirement is for the casino to have a good mix of customer support channels. We’ll give positive marks to a casino that operates both phone and email support services. However, the highest ratings will always go to casinos with live chat support enabled 24/7. We’ll also bump up the rating if the casino supplies players with a thorough and logically-structured FAQs section.
It goes without saying that safe and secure gambling is at the top of our criteria list. We only review online casinos that have bank-grade encryption technologies installed to protect your personal and financial information.
Regulations & Licences
You’ll never find unlicensed online casinos in our recommended casino options. The reason for this is that we simply do not rate rogue casinos. All our suggested casinos are licensed by the legitimate gambling regulatory bodies. In particular, we look for licenses from the Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority and other trusted international gambling authorities.
These are the criteria that we follow to guarantee that any information we provide to you will help you become a better player. Every piece of information that we produce, regardless of whether it is about a casino, game, software provider, technique, banking method, how-to guide, bonus, or anything else, is written with the goal of assisting you.
We want you, the gamers, to have the confidence to choose where and how you gamble on your own terms, and we want you to feel free to do so. User input, current trends in the industry, research, changes in law, traffic and audience data, and a variety of other criteria are the sources of any new or updated information on the website.
The rules make certain that the content standards are kept at a high level and that our editing process is free from any influence from commercial interests. The editorial position that we take in all that we do will never be influenced in any way by the commercial goals of the corporation. In a similar spirit, there will not be any popups or advertising sidebars shown for your perusal. On-site advertising from other parties is not permitted by our company. Because of this, we can be sure that no companies in the outside world have changed any of the information on our website.
Our evaluations will always be written in an impartial manner.
This is also true when it comes to publishing objective information for the purpose of guiding or advising others, since each person might, of course, have particular banking or gaming tastes. We want you to have information that is entirely objective so that you can make a choice that is in your best interest.
Our evaluations, strategy guidelines, and information are all supported by research that is data-driven. It is essential that our facts be correct. Any analysis must accurately reflect the most informed and objective opinion of our specialists. The core tenet of our material should be that it is driven by data and precise facts.
In order to provide a casino, game, or service recommendation to our users, it is necessary for many members of our team to participate in the process. To stay true to our purpose of putting the needs of gamers first, we must maintain a high level of precision and conduct such exhaustive research.
We provide all of our information for free and try to make it accessible in as many countries as we can. Our goal is to educate individuals all around the globe who have an interest in the gaming business.
This also implies that all material must be relevant, up-to-date, and intelligible in order to be valuable to each and every player in accordance with the editorial code. It is of the utmost significance that difficult information is communicated to you in a manner that is beneficial to you. The content has to be created, then it must be vetted by other people, then it must be presented in an understandable manner. Please get in contact with us if you see any material that is missing, contradictory, or otherwise unclear so that our staff can give an explanation on the matter.
The material that we present herein in addition to the years of expertise and experience that our specialists have, must be drawn from data obtained from respectable locations. This may involve direct contacts, industry trade magazines, social media activity, press releases, and mainstream news outlets. On several of our sites, you’ll find links that will take you to other sources so that you may check out our references. It is required that proper attribution be given for any and all material that has been taken from other locations on the internet or any other media.
We Check for and Make Adjustments to Any Errors. In spite of all the research and expertise we have, mistakes are still possible. The team has come to an agreement that any inaccuracies that are reported will be looked into and, if required, fixed. This is a requirement of our editorial code.
If you see a mistake, please don’t be afraid to get in touch with us about it.
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