How We Review
Our expertise is directly reflected in the way we review online casinos. Therefore, we will explain our listing criteria, the types of platforms we review, as well as the actual process behind it. Let’s dive in!
We tell the truth as it is! We are guided by our impartial core principles.
In terms of the casinos we list on our site, we created our own review system. We follow specific guidelines and adopt various techniques to offer Kiwi punters the best analysis. This section will cover essential aspects we incorporated in the reviewing process. In this way, you'll know exactly what to look for when inspecting a casino yourself.
First of all, we shall mention that we carefully select our partners, and we do not let them influence our judgement in any way. Before agreeing to collaborate with a gambling site, we expect it to meet certain criteria. Although there is a financial partnership involved, if we feel like the platform doesn’t comply with our standards, we choose not to list it at all on our website.
This is what we look for in an online casino:
Perhaps the most important aspect, the safety of our players, is at the top of our priorities. Therefore, we only review casinos licensed by at least one regulatory body, such as the UKGC, MGA, Swedish Gambling Authority, Gibraltar or Kahnawake.
Licensed casinos have the following features:
Random Number Generator is a program based on mathematical algorithms which determine a game's outcome. In the interest of fair gaming, this system is used in all casino games to ensure impartiality for all players and avoid biased results. Websites that don’t dispose of this are usually considered ‘rigged’.
These are used to protect your personal and financial information. Casinos that use data encryption protocols do not allow third parties to access their customers’ private details, nor use them in any way. They also contribute to preventing illicit activities like identity theft and money laundering.
Responsible gambling tools
Promoting responsible practices is a must when it comes to a licensed casino. The most common tools are deposit and bet limits, session reminders, cool-off periods, and self-exclusion. Some websites go as far as offering self-evaluation tests to determine whether you are at risk of developing a gambling addiction.
The second thing we look for is the casino’s offering. More exactly, their games, promotions and platform features. If its services do not comply with industry standards or they do not live up to our expectations, we choose not to list them. Moreover, if the casino doesn’t provide any bonuses, it is unlikely to spark any interest in gamblers. Therefore, we will not promote such platforms.
Transparency and reliability
Finally, we believe in honesty and authenticity. Thus, we expect online casinos to be as transparent as possible when it comes to the information provided on their site. This means sticking up to what they promise and instilling reliability in their customers. Should we discover a casino’s details to be incomplete, misleading or dishonest in regards with their offering, we will not associate ourselves with the brand.
Types of casinos we review
Just like there are different types of players, there are also multiple types of casinos. Here, at CasinoAlpha, we review four main gambling website categories:
These are the ones that have it all: slots, jackpots, table games, live casino, sports betting, bingo and even virtual sports. The all-in-one casinos, as we call them, offer a wide variety of products from numerous providers. Their versatility makes them suitable for all players. It doesn’t matter what kind of titles you prefer. At this type of casino, you will definitely find something to your liking!
This is the place where you will find the most varied selection of pokies. They are usually supplied by the leading companies in the iGaming industry and come with plenty of special features.
No matter your preferences, there is a high chance you will find your favourite title on one of these sites. And as they specialise in reels, you will encounter numerous themes and categories. Moreover, you may spot a lot of impressive jackpots that can reach up to NZ$15000000.
Tables and live casino
Suppose you prefer strategic games that involve a bit more action than slots. In that case, we recommend you check out one of the casinos focusing on tables and live casino products. They offer alternatives like Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, Poker, Craps, Sic Bo and many others.
However, this doesn’t mean they dispose only of these options. Most of the time, they might also provide slots, jackpots, scratch cards or arcades. Yet, they concentrate on that specific gaming area. Furthermore, bets usually range from NZ$1 to NZ$10000 or higher. So, whether you are an inexperienced player or a highroller, you will find a table suitable for you.
Bingo sites are not as numerous as the rest of the casinos listed above. Still, they provide plenty of rooms and even other gaming options, such as slots or scratch cards. Something unique about these is the chat games category. This allows players to communicate with each other to reach a common goal. In addition to that, you may also spot several Slingo games, which combine elements of both bingo and slots.
What is the role of reviews?
Here, we write all of our reviews with a clear purpose in mind. Or in this case, with two purposes:
To keep players informed
Our main goal is to be the first source New Zealand players go to before joining an online casino. Therefore, we do our best to offer the utmost quality reviews, and we are prepared to face and tackle any issues that may arise during the crafting process.
The reviews we design serve both an informational and explanatory purpose. They are meant to guide players through their online gambling journey in an accurate and reliable manner. So, we do not glamourise the existing facts, nor do we intend to present any misleading information.
We explore betting platforms in-depth, gather information from multiple sources, then come up with a detailed analysis. Moreover, we make sure to cover all areas of interest concerning a casino so that you can make the best decision for yourself.
- To add value to the industry
We strive to make a substantial difference in this field. Besides coming to the aid of our readers, we also want to bring a valuable contribution to the iGaming industry. How? By encouraging online casinos to maintain an increased level of professionalism and deliver high-quality services.
Think about this: the main interest of betting sites is to attract and retain as many customers as possible. Some extra pressure from several online reviews will only make them improve their services. After all, the experts' opinions can significantly impact the way a player views a certain platform.
How we review: step by step
To get the most out of our reviews, you must first understand how we develop them. And because they are never the result of arbitrary writing, our professional team follows a specific work scheme.
This is the base of all our reviews. We wouldn’t be able to guide and inform players without thoroughly researching the environment we are dealing with. Therefore, we conduct two types of research:
External – online sources
|Source||Method of analysis|
|Gambling institutions||We regularly check the gambling legislation to keep up with industry updates|
|Journalistic articles||We consult the national and international press and examine multiple points of view regarding different aspects of the industry|
|Economical reports||We gather economic data about the companies we investigative|
|Statistics/studies||We look for recent statistics and studies conducted on grounded research|
- Internal – registering at the casino and testing it (exploring the platform’s features, talking to live chat operators, investigating the terms and conditions, checking payment methods, etc.)
When it comes to reviews, internal research is crucial. By creating an account on the website, we get the chance to become players ourselves and gather valuable insights. In this way, we can make a clear idea about the overall quality of the platform and establish its strengths and weaknesses.
Moreover, we uncover the website's hidden aspects and investigate discrepancies between the stated information and the actual offering. For example, a casino might list several payment methods in their terms and conditions. However, the information may be misleading, and the banking section can actually be more limited than stated.
Once all the necessary information has been gathered, we move on to analysing it. We are not only stating hard facts but also determining how they could affect your overall casino experience.
So, instead of just mentioning faulty platform features such as lags, glitches or empty sections, we also investigate the root of the problem. In this case, we can tell you what other aspects might cause the issues and come up with efficient solutions or suggestions to avoid them. For example, lags may be caused by external factors like outdated computer software or multiple programmes running at the same time.
Brainstorming and structure development
To produce qualitative content, we need a brief brainstorming session where we organise our ideas and develop a solid structure. We divide the information into separate sections and filter the collected data. And by this, we mean deciding what to mention and what not, highlighting the most important aspects and establishing clear conclusions.
Should we encounter difficulties during this process, we consult with other team members and work together towards accomplishing a common goal. In this way, we explore multiple points of view and agree to the solution that is most suitable for our gamblers.
Putting everything together
After developing a clear structure, we proceed to complete the actual writing process. We carefully choose our wording and make sure that every section contains all the essential information. Moreover, we pay extra attention to our vocabulary and text structure.
At last, when the review is ready, we double-check our work and make sure everything has been covered. We correct the mistakes and spelling errors, highlight vital information, and link our sources. However, we leave room for improvement and are open to recommendations. In the end, we do everything with our readers in mind.
If you consider our reviews need enhancement or corrections, feel free to contact us.
What do reviews include?
As we follow a specific structure, we tend to include the same elements in our reviews. So, we include sections designated to every casino aspect you could think of. These are the components we talk about:
Promotions and bonus terms
Before diving into the platform’s features, we will list all the available offers and explain the casino’s general bonus terms. But remember that these only apply when a promotion doesn't come with specific conditions.
The promotional terms should be the main guiding point when trying to use a bonus.
This section often includes general information about the brand and the company that owns it. For example, you may find the organisation’s history, financial information, the number of employees or other details regarding partnerships, sponsorships and related brands.
As we create accounts for ourselves, we know exactly how the registration process works. Thus, we explain every step of it in detail and provide other useful information, such as completing the KYC procedure.
To produce extra accurate reviews, we test each online casino on our own devices. In this way, we are able to verify the platform's usability, transparency and appearance on all of its interfaces. Therefore, this section includes essential functional aspects you need to know about the website, as well as its device compatibility.
Games and providers
Even though we cannot list the entire game collection, we will present all the available game categories and providers. Moreover, we test their functionality and explore their particularities to offer our readers an overview of our gaming experience.
And because we know stakes are quite important, we investigate the minimum and maximum bets and list them for every game section. In this way, you’ll be able to determine if the casino is inclusive or targets a specific group of gamblers, such as highrollers.
We carefully investigate the banking section to uncover all the available payment methods, as well as their limitations and other rules concerning them. For instance, you’ll see a detailed table with every payment method you can use on the website, alongside its minimum and maximum transactional amounts. Apart from this, we list all the important aspects related to the financial policy.
Should a casino have a loyalty or VIP scheme, we will be the first ones to know about it. So, if you are interested in the benefits that come with it, feel free to dive into this section. We usually include essential details regarding the scheme's rules, requirements and assets.
Most gambling platforms dispose of at least one way of contacting customer support. And because we expect a high level of professionalism from all the casinos we list on our site, we thoroughly investigate the support system. This usually entails getting in touch with one or multiple staff members to test their responsiveness, problem-solving skills and ability to manage different situations.
As we put great value on the safety of our readers, we make sure that all the platforms we test reflect responsible practices. Thus, we examine all the available prevention tools meant to ensure a safe playing environment and shield customers from gambling addiction. These are some of the tools you may encounter: self-limits, reality check, session limits, time-outs, self-exclusion, account closure, budget calendar, access to gaming history.
Our reviews’ core elements
Besides all the elements stated above, we also include some unique components in our content. We call these the core elements of our reviews. You may find them under the form of Tips, Recommendation, Be aware, Disclaimer, Important and Fun Fact. We make no exception from including these in all of our reviews, as they contain crucial information that every player must take into consideration.
Let’s explain each one of them:
Tips – something that may enhance your casino experience.
Recommendation – advice from us based on our own involvement with the platform.
Be aware – a crucial detail that might negatively impact your experience.
Disclaimer – a statement highlighting a specific feature about particular casinos.
Important – essential information you must remember about the casino (similar to ‘Be aware’, but not necessarily negative).
Fun fact – interesting trivia that will not affect your playing experience.
Apart from exploring all the casino’s features and conducting an in-depth analysis, we also perform a comparative assessment to rate them. You’ll find the rating in every review, right under the introduction. We guide ourselves after the average industry offering and evaluate each site accordingly. How? By assigning specific categories numbers from 1 to 5. These are the elements that we rate:
1. User experience
When rating this aspect, we analyse the user-friendliness, device compatibility, informational transparency and overall appearance of the platform. Yet, keep in mind that our rate can be quite subjective in this category, as every user has different design and layout preferences.
2. Payment methods
Here, we look for the most used payment methods in New Zealand. Usually, they are Visa/Mastercard, Poli, Skrill, Neteller, MuchBetter and Paysafecard. If one or more of these are missing, we will lower the rating accordingly. Moreover, we take into account the withdrawal processing time and calculate the final number based on both aspects.
We only consider three main categories: pokies, table games and live casino. After making sure that the website disposes of all of them, we rate slots based on their number and the available providers. As for the other two sections, we look for Roulette, Blackjack and Baccarat games.
In terms of promotions, we mostly give a 5/5 rating when the website disposes of at least one first deposit bonus, a welcome package comprised of multiple deposits, free spins and a no deposit offer. Should one or more of them be missing, we will decrease the rating.
5. Customer service
In this category, we only take into consideration three support methods: email, live chat and phone. If the casino has all of them, the rating will be 5/5. If it lacks one or two of them, the rating will be either 4.5 or 4.
This section refers to the organisation that licensed the casino. Usually, the UKGC license is the strictest, and the Curacao one is more lenient. Yet, the platform can be licensed by more than one regulatory body.
When it comes to bonuses, we summarise their terms and conditions in an easy-to-understand manner. For example, instead of displaying the entire bonus policy, we take the most important information and present it to our readers concisely. Therefore, each promotion has its own description that usually includes:
- Bonus value;
- Wagering requirements;
- Available games/game types;
- Minimum deposit to claim it;
- Maximum cashout;
- Restricted payment methods;
- Expiration date.
Remember that our bonus descriptions will not necessarily include every detail concerning the promotion. Thus, we highly recommend checking the casino’s full terms and conditions, should you need further information.
How we classify them
To ease your quest of finding the bonus that you are looking for, we categorise them into different sections and display them on separate pages. In this way, you’ll be able to filter the promotions and navigate them according to your preferences and area of interest.
Once you enter a designated page, there you will find only promotions that are of interest to you. At the bottom of the list, you may find filters that can guide you to select the right bonus.
Here’s how we classify bonuses:
1. Different types of promotions
Based on our experience with numerous offers, we have established four main types of promotions: casino bonuses, online casino, free spins and no deposit. Each bonus you see on our site belongs to one of these categories. But we will explain them in-depth in the following section.
2. Game types
As there are bonuses designed for different game types, we also list them separately. For example, on the slots page, we display promotions that are available only on slots. Luckily, this category is more versatile and includes offers containing bonus credit, extra spins or even both. Besides these, we also have live casino, Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat or bingo bonuses.
3. No wagering
As the name suggests, these promotions come with no wagering requirements. So, when claiming an offer displayed on this page, you will encounter no restrictions linked to cashing out winnings. The no wagering feature can apply to both bonus funds and free spins.
This section refers to offers that require a low deposit amount to be claimed. As the industry average is NZ$10, the listed promotions will usually require less than that.
Types of bonuses
Let’s move on to explaining the four main bonus categories on our site.
This category is more extensive, as it actually includes two types of offers:
First deposit bonuses
Special promotions tailored to new players who credit their account for the first time. These are associated only with the first deposit and may include bonus credit, free spins or both.
Offers tailored to new players that cover multiple deposits. These can extend to up to 5 deposits sometimes. Moreover, a welcome package can also include registration spins or a no deposit offer.
The online casino bonus reflects both the platform's offering as well as its general features. For instance, when you spot such a promotion, it will include the entire deposit offer, but the bonus terms won’t be so detailed.
Instead, it will include a casino overview with the most important information a player needs to know before joining the site. In this way, we offer our readers a preview of what to expect both from the bonus and from the casino itself.
The no deposit incentives are usually designed for inexperienced players or for gamblers that are just starting out on a new platform. Because they require no funds to be claimed, they are great for getting accustomed to the site and trying out several games.
The no deposit offers include only bonus credit. Thus, they can be used on a variety of game types. Yet, it is possible to encounter no deposit promotions with various game restrictions. So, pay attention to the specified terms and conditions!
This bonus category has been specially designed for pokies. Bonus spins are usually available on a limited number of games. Yet, when it comes to claiming them, they can either require a deposit or not.
Pay attention to the fact that most sites will not allow you to redeem registration spins if you have already deposited for the first time. So, make sure you check whether or not the spins you are trying to claim require a deposit.
Summarising our mission
One last thing you must acknowledge is that our reviewing system has been tailored to meet customers’ demands, as well as to comply with the latest industry standards. Our reviews mainly serve an informational purpose.
They are meant to guide you throughout your gambling journey and help you make the best decision when it comes to joining a certain platform or claiming a promotion. Thus, we do our best to stick to strict guidelines and listing criteria in order to provide the highest quality content and instil reliability in our readers.