Nuestro Casino specialises in reviewing online casinos that are available to players in the United Kingdom. Our reviewers are experts with gaming industry backgrounds, and we use their in-depth analysis to sort and rank casinos so that you can quickly find your new favourites.
Our comprehensive reviews account for everything that's important to players. We thoroughly investigate criteria such as the safety and reliability of casino software, their policies and track record on payouts, bonus offers and expected payback percentages. We then distil all of this information into an easy-to-read review that helps you to quickly and effectively determine how fair, reliable and fun each casino will be.
What Criteria Does Your Site Use to Evaluate Casinos?
All of the following are considered in each and every one of our casino reviews:
Licensing and government oversight status
Third-party testing of game fairness and stability
Platform options (desktop, laptop, mobile app, browser)
Interface and layout
Live dealer options
Deposit and withdrawal options
Average payout time and withdrawal limits
Bonus terms and playthrough requirements
Customer service options and response quality
Time online and business history
History of consumer complaints
Special options for VIPs and high rollers
We'll expand on each of these criteria below.
Licensing / Government Oversight
Every online casino is regulated by the government of the country it is based in. These regulations are the main thing that keeps casinos from refusing to pay as agreed, running rigged games or folding up and running off with everyone's money in the middle of the night.
Unfortunately, not all governments are equally as good about setting and enforcing regulations. Some countries and territories have developed a reputation for allowing shady casino operators to run wild.
Fortunately, United Kingdom players are in the best place in the world for government regulation and oversight. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission maintains and enforces strong regulations for all online casinos within its territory. The Commission also requires that any casinos outside of the United Kingdom obtain a license from them (which holds them to similar terms) before they can advertise anywhere in England, Scotland or Wales.
Key terms that the Commission holds UK casinos and license holders to include:
Running games that can be verified as fair
Making the terms of their promotions clear
Overseeing the ways in which funds are deposited to or withdrawn from casino accounts
Maintaining an adequate customer service system
Handling player funds appropriately (keeping them separate from other business funds)
Providing information and protective measures for players who may have a gambling addiction
The UK Gambling Commission maintains a "whitelist" of countries that online casinos may operate from. This list includes the 26 other countries that comprise the European Economic Area as well as a number of autonomous protectorates: Alderney, Antigua and Barbuda, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Malta and Tasmania.
You'll see many online casinos based in places like Gibraltar and Malta because it allows them to be in an EU country while also enjoying a favourable tax situation. The UK Gambling Commission subjects these licensees to the same strict regulations.
Nuestro Casino emphasises casinos that are regulated by the UK Gambling Commission because they are almost universally safe to deposit money and play at.
Very few casinos develop their own games. They instead license packages from software developers who specialise in casino game development.
Most online casinos use a mix of the "big names" in casino software development; companies such as NetEnt, Microgaming and Playtech. We check over the software developers that each casino uses to be sure that they offer stable and reliable games. Software developers generally just provide the games and leave it to the casino to integrate them with their existing interface, however, so we also check to make sure that everything runs smoothly as you move from game to game through the online lobby.
One big advantage of the common use of software providers across casinos is that once a payback percentage has been determined for a game, it will usually be the same across every casino that hosts that game. We'll also let you know how well players can expect to do at any given game (when this information is available.)
Third-Party Game Testing
Players ideally want to play at casinos that allow a neutral third-party auditing company to periodically come in and test the fairness and stability of their games. These companies test fairness by running games through millions of hands and spins to see if the overall results are within the expected range of return. They also run quality assurance tests on games to ensure they don't have errors that could cause unexpected things to happen.
The UK Gambling Commission requires that their licensees employ such an agency for regular fairness testing. They maintain a whitelist of approved testing agencies (such as eCogra and Gaming Laboratories International) that casinos can use. We keep tabs on these agencies and their reputation, and will note any potential points of caution with any of them in our casino reviews.
Long gone are the days when all online gambling was done through desktop software. People have many options for getting online these days, and online casinos have raced to meet customers on the devices they frequently use.
Desktop and laptop software is still king (in terms of games and features offered), but online casinos have taken note of all the traffic on mobile devices and made phone and tablet apps available. Just about all online casinos now have Android and Apple apps, and some also support BlackBerry and Windows Mobile devices.
Many online casinos also allow you to play without having to download software or an app. This version of a casino is usually called "no download" or "instant" and loads directly in a web browser using only temporary files. In addition to being very convenient, this is a great option for those on devices that casinos don't support with native apps or software.
Our reviews consider the full range of options for all devices and comment on how each stands up. Mobile and instant casino options are often more limited than the desktop/laptop software, and if they are we'll make a note of the differences for you.
Interface and Layout
While you'll see the same games in different casinos, each online property usually has its own distinct layout and interface that they design themselves. That means the overall site (or app) navigation experience can vary greatly between casinos.
Is the layout intuitive and is everything easy to find? Do buttons work the way they are supposed to? How fast do new screens and games load on different types of internet connections? Do any repeatable errors or bugs occur?
Our reviews explore casino interfaces and take into account how smooth and trouble-free the experience is. We also note any other interesting features a casino may have, such as "badge" or "quest" systems that add an extra layer to the experience.
We'll tell you how many games in each category are currently available at each casino, including a count of games with special features like progressive jackpots. We also highlight unique and exclusive game offerings and exciting new concepts that are available (like the emerging categories of skill-based games and virtual sports.)
Fans of a particular type of game, such as roulette or video poker, will be apprised of all of the different varieties available. And we will be sure to specify the house rules for table games and the impact that any unusual variations might have on your chances of winning.
Every game has an expected "house edge," or the percentage of all wagers that the casino expects to keep over the lifetime of the game. For example, if the house has an edge of roughly 3% over the average blackjack player.
If you turn that number around, you get the theoretical return to the player. So again using the average blackjack player as an example, they can expect to keep about 97% of the money they wager over the long term.
You can calculate the payback percentages for many games and compare casino offerings to determine where the best plays are. We take note of particularly favourable and unfavourable games in our reviews.
We also try to provide you with information on slots in particular, as their payback percentages are often the hardest to calculate due to necessary information about the bonus rounds not being made public.
Of course, that doesn't mean we overlook table games. We'll let you know about all the different rule varieties and what they mean for your wagering budget.
Live Dealer Options
"Live dealer" tables are a great new development in online gaming, and they're spreading quickly through all of the online casinos out there.
These are tables that have a constant video stream of a live dealer stationed in a remote location. The dealer runs the game from an actual table that you can watch on the stream. Most casinos that offer live dealer tables have the standard range of games regularly found on brick-and-mortar casino floors: roulette, baccarat, blackjack, Super 6, Seven Up, Punto Banco and Hold 'Em.
Live dealer games blend the best of the "real world" and online casino experiences. You get something of the atmosphere and social interaction of the standard casino table game, but with the convenience of playing online at any time and using a simple button-based interface for your wagers. There is also no pressure for new players, and it's much easier to find an available seat at the game of your choice.
Not all casinos are offering live dealer games yet, however. The ones that do can have very different selections of games and table rules available. And since these games require faster internet connections to handle the constant video, they can be a little more glitchy than the standard online casinos games that have been refined since the 1990s.
We test out all of the live dealer offerings at each of our listed casinos to see what kind of table rules they offer, how difficult it tends to be to get a seat at each game, how well the dealers run the game, options for chatting with the dealer while playing, and how smooth and problem-free the interface is. We also check out mobile versions of live games to see how they stack up to their full-featured computer counterparts.
Deposit and Withdrawal Options
It's important to consider the various ways in which an online casino allows you to both deposit and withdraw your money. Casinos offer different options, and some are more restrictive about withdrawal methods than they are about deposits.
Popular deposit and withdrawal methods include bank transfers, major credit cards, and e-wallet services like Neteller and Skrill. We take note of processing time and any fees that may be charged.
Average Payout Time and Withdrawal Limits
They may also vary in how long they take to process withdrawals. Our team tests out deposit and withdrawal times to be sure they are as advertised as part of our reviewing process.
One big selling point for gamblers is the "manual flush" withdrawal option. When you initiate a withdrawal, it is usually in a "pending" state for some amount of time, during which time you can potentially eat into the amount if you continue gambling before it receives final approval. You can also request a "reverse withdrawal" during this time if you decide you would rather play the funds. A manual flush earmarks the funds for withdrawal only, removing the option to continue playing with them or reverse the withdrawal. It's a useful tool for those who feel they might compulsively wager funds that they absolutely need to withdraw, and it can also speed up the withdrawal process in some cases.
We also report on any withdrawal limits each casino might impose on their players. Some casinos do restrict the amount you can withdraw on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. A general industry standard is to allow you to withdraw at least a few thousand pounds per month.
Bonus Terms and Playthrough Requirements
Online casinos advertise all sorts of exciting bonuses, and many of them are worth taking advantage of. The numbers you see in the advertisements don't always tell the whole story, however.
For example, consider the ubiquitous "welcome bonuses" that match to your first deposit. Just going by the ads, it might appear that 100% or 200% match is free and easy money. Check the fine print, however, and you'll find there is a wagering requirement to meet before any winnings from your bonus funds can be withdrawn.
Wagering requirements are also often found on other types of bonus offers. You may have to wager an amount of money equivalent to the bonus, or you may just have to wager an amount equivalent to your winnings, depending on the type of bonus and the casino's individual terms. Bonuses are also usually only good for a limited period of time; you have to meet the wagering requirement within some amount of days or weeks or you forfeit any winnings from it.
We break down the requirements to make use of bonus offers and explain them in terms that are easy to understand. You'll know exactly how much money you have to play through before you are eligible to withdraw winnings, and whether it's better to pass on certain bonuses if you have a limited gaming budget.
An online casino's customer service department is a vital link between you and the casinos management. If you have an issue with your funds, with a game not working properly or with a bonus not being handled as expected, you'll be relying on these front- line customer service agents to make things right.
Casinos vary in their customer service options, but they should at minimum offer at least one 24 hour contact option, ideally a phone number or a browser-based chat. Our reviews look over all of the customer service options and their hours of availability, and we test each option for response time and quality of service.
Many online casinos offer "loyalty" or "VIP" programs. You're usually signed up in the program automatically when you create a new account. You earn points for every wager you make which can be redeemed for free play or cash back (or sometimes for other prizes.)
Some loyalty programs add a tier system. In addition to the redeemable credits you get with each wager, you also get points that add to your tier score. As you move up the tiers, you gain access to new perks like increased deposit bonus matches and guaranteed weekly or monthly amounts of free play or free spins. Some of these programs even tie into the programs at brick-and-mortar properties, giving you added benefits if you choose to visit one for a holiday.
Loyalty programs can really add a lot of value for players who plan to stick around and play mainly at a particular casino. We break down each casino's loyalty program, examine the benefits, and explain them to you in a way that is easy for you to understand. We sometimes even have access to inside information on offers and rewards that aren't published by the casino!
Whether or not an online casino offers a formal loyalty program, they will often surprise their regular players with little bonuses. Casinos regularly offer limited-time promotions as well as surprise gifts of free play and free spins.
We keep track of these recurring promotions and make a note of them in our reviews. We also collect information from regular players to find out what kind of little perks casinos are depositing in their accounts and email addresses.
Business History / History of Consumer Complaints
As part of our review process, we check out the company history of each online casino. We'll let you know how long it has been online, who owns it and if it has operated under any other names.
We will also look into any complaints that may have been lodged against a casino to determine how substantial they are.
People visit online casinos to have fun, and a lot of that fun revolves around what their site looks like and their theme.
While things like withdrawal time and fair games are more important, the visual appeal of a casino is definitely worth mentioning. Of course, this is a subjective element, but our reviews will give you an idea of the overall theme and colour scheme as well as any elements that might be jarring or bothersome for players.
Options for VIPs and High Rollers
Online casinos often offer special perks that are only accessible to their VIPs and high rollers. These include opening special exclusive tables with more favourable rules, assigning them a casino host for personalised service, much larger deposit and daily or weekly bonuses, paid trips to special VIP events and instant withdrawals.
This information can be a little hard to come by, however. Casinos usually wait for potential VIPs to make contact with them rather than publishing these benefits on their website. We'll share any inside information we've come across on the perks that are available to high rollers.
Online Casino Reviews Done Right
If you browse the internet a bit, you'll see a lot of casino review sites. And a lot of them are universally positive and indiscriminate in the casinos they recommend. It sometimes seems like they have a good word for absolutely EVERYONE.
That's because review sites are funded by referrals. Once players sign up and deposit or wager a certain amount of money, the referring site gets a payment.
Nuestro Casino does things differently. Instead of referring readers to every casino out there, we review each property thoroughly and select only the best. If we refer you to a casino, it's because we genuinely believe it's one that players will enjoy and find value in.
Our reviewers also have legitimate industry experience. Among them are former "advantage players" with long experience in hunting down favourable bonuses, game rules and loyalty program perks.
You can rest assured that casinos recommended here are safe, fun and offer you significant value for your money.
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