How We Rank Our Top-Rated Online Casinos

Everyone who enjoys casino games should know what qualities make the highest rated online casino. Below, we lay out how the Bonus.com team of experts rates the gambling apps on the site. That gives you the knowledge you need to find the top-rated online casinos you’re looking for. You’ll also have more confidence when selecting an app that doesn’t fall within the highest rated online casinos, as many of those sites are still worth joining.

The Bare Minimum – 6 Things Every Online Casino Needs

To become a top rated online casino, apps need to meet several criteria. But before they’re even considered, they need to have each of the following:

  1. Legitimate Local License: We don’t recommend illegal, offshore online casinos or sportsbooks to American or Canadian players. All sites must hold a license with a state regulator to prove player protection and legitimacy.
  2. Top-Tier Security: You can be highest rated unless you have the highest levels of security. Online casinos need to have the most up-to-date SSL encryption, keep players’ money in a completely separate bank account (which is required by law), and follow all privacy laws. They should also offer two-step authentication for players who want to add an extra layer of security. If anything of this is missing or the online casino has a reputation for violating these concerns, they get a strong thumbs down.
          1. Customer Support: Any company that handles money should have an immediately-accessible support channel. Ideally, a company has multiple options as well, such as online chat support, email, and a phone number. Unfortunately, COVID shut down a good number of call centers, but chat support and email are essential.
          2. Strong Reputation: If a casino has a bad reputation, per player reviews, they’re automatically omitted from Bonus.com. It’s possible for an online casino to turn around their reputation later on for inclusion, but that has yet to happen.
          3. Data Protection: Illegal online casinos located outside of the US will often have little to no data protection, meaning they’ll sell their users’ data without a second thought. Legally-licensed online casinos are heavily regulated and restricted from sharing private data in accordance with state and federal law.
          4. Easy Deposit & Cashout: You can’t be a top-rated online casino app unless you give players several options for making a deposit and cashing out. The best payment methods include online bank transfer, Venmo, and PayPal. But, really, the best are simply whatever you prefer. If an online casino’s payment methods force you to create a new web wallet, that’s some serious points against them.
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          Game Selection – 4 Reasons Variety Is Key

          You might think game selection simply means offering a long list of games, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. A top rated online casino should have:

          1. Games From Many Different Software Companies: The design studios that make slots and table games can offer a fantastic variety, but they’re limited by their (relatively small) teams. The more software companies an online casino hosts, the more variety players can expect across the board.
          2. Several Progressive Jackpot Slots: The most popular casino game are progressive jackpot slots. Needless to say, an online casino that doesn’t offer several of them isn’t taking player enjoyment seriously. That disqualifies it from becoming a top rated online casino.
          3. Live Dealer Games: We don’t expect a brand-new online casino to offer live dealer games. But after the first couple months of launch, it better have a live casino section. It’s among the most exciting and innovative options for online casino players, so not having it means the casino is a step or two behind its competitors.
          1. Hundreds of Slots & Table Games: It’s not like these online casinos are limited by floor space like their brick-and-mortar counterparts. So there’s no good reason why a player wouldn’t have access to a near endless selection of slots and table games, including several different versions of blackjack and roulette.
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          Bonus Codes – Bigger Is (Usually) Better

          1. No Deposit Bonus Codes: Online casino no deposit bonus codes are among the best ways for casinos to welcome new users. It’s as simple as it – the chance to turn free money into withdrawable cash without ever making a deposit. The options can also vary by state. NJ no deposit bonus codes offer up to $185 in free money while PA no deposit bonus codes offer up to $125. But all no deposit bonuses from legal sites are worth utilizing.
          2. Deposit-Match Bonus Codes: The deposit-match bonus usually gets players the most free money. The online casino will normally match your first deposit by 100%, essentially doubling the money you start out with. For example, the Golden Nugget bonus code is BONUSSPINS for $10 to $30 free on signup, plus a 100% deposit-match bonus up to $1,000 and 200 Free Spins on the 88 Fortunes slot. Claim today at Golden Nugget Online.
          3. Free Spins: There’s a reason Golden Nugget is the best online casino in the world. Actually, there are several, as it ticks every box that we detail in this article. But it’s also one of the few online casinos with a free spins offer, giving players 200 free spins on the extremely popular 88 Fortunes slot. Here’s our full Golden Nugget review.
                  1. Risk-Free Play: Most common in New Jersey but also available in other states via FanDuel Casino, a risk-free play welcome bonus refunds a player’s net losses after a certain amount of time, up to a maximum amount. For example, the Virgin Casino bonus code is SHARP30 for a $30 no deposit bonus, plus a $100 cash back rebate, meaning you can immediately withdraw the refund. While FanDuel Casino offers $1,000 back, you have to play through the site credits 1x to turn them into withdrawable cash.
                  2. Ongoing Promotions: What kind of company would leave their most loyal customers in the lurch? Ongoing promotions are crucial. At Bonus, we focus mainly on helping new players find the best sites and apps. But we also cover the best online casino bonus codes for existing users, ensuring that all the sites we recommend continue to offer the best possible experience.
                  3. Fair Playthrough Requirements: A playthrough requirement is the number of times bonus money has to be wagered before it’s turned into withdrawable cash. For example, $100 in bonus money with a 10x playthrough requirement means players must wager $1,000 before they can withdraw associated winnings. We take extra special care to let our players know exactly what the playthrough requirements are and whether it makes the bonus code worth it or not.
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                  Features – Easy, Fun, & Stress-Free

                  1. Loyalty Program: Another example of rewarding existing members, an online casino loyalty program is pretty close to essential. Unfortunately, they mostly benefit the high-roller players, but brands like Caesars Casino (attached to Caesars Rewards and WSOP) reward all levels of players. Another good example is BetMGM Rewards, which has players earning points playing casino games, online poker, and betting on sports, all under one roof.
                  2. Demo Practice Mode: It’s a personal pet peeve when online casinos don’t let all website visitors try their games for free. While BetMGM Casino is among the best options in the US (and the highest rated online casino in PA), it doesn’t let players try the games until they create an account. Meanwhile, Golden Nugget Casino and DraftKings Casino allow all website visitors, regardless of whether they have an account, to try their games in demo practice mode.
                  3. Filter Options: Another big pet peeve is when an online casino just lists all their slots in one giant list with no regard for navigation. Maybe some players like to just go based on the look of the cover image, but we prefer to filter slots by genre, max payout, rating, and beyond. That makes it easy to find the slots we like while also giving us the freedom to discover something new.
                  1. App Store Rankings: No one knows an online casino better than its long-time users, which is why App Store rankings can be so valuable. The top rated online casinos strive to have the highest possible App Store ranking, bringing in tens of thousands of reviews and boasting a 4.5 out of 5.0 or better. That’s exactly the case with top brands like DraftKings Casino, BetMGM, and more.
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                  Best Online Casinos By State 

                  Now that you know all the ways we rank our highest rated online casinos, you might be wondering what to do with all your new knowledge. Well, the easiest is to see the top rated online casinos specific to your state:

                  Not in one of those states? No problem. Play casino games and win cash prizes from these legit sweeps casinos, all of which are as safe as the real-money online casinos we recommend. We know this because all sweeps casinos follow the same rigorous vetting process detailed above.

                  About the Author

                  Mike Epifani

                  Editor & Content Manager
                  Mike Epifani is the Editor and Content Manager of Bonus.com. As a highly experienced online gambling writer, Mike specializes in online casinos and sports betting; specifically, how to bet more while spending less. Ready to keep more of your money while staying safe and having fun? You're in the right place.