Affiliate View: What slots players look for in a casino


  • 17 min read
Affiliate View: What slots players look for in a casino

Mark Wadie, Senior Editor at All Slot Sites, provides an affiliate’s view on what slots players are looking for in their next casino.

At All Slot Sites we spend a lot of time reviewing different casinos and making recommendations to our readers, all of whom are avid slots fans. We feature all kinds of sites in our lists, from small white labels to independent casinos running on their own platforms, and major high street bookmakers. In our role as an affiliate business, we have a broad oversight of the market and the relative strengths and weaknesses of different brands.

In this article we share thoughts on five areas that we think are amongst the most important to slots players looking for a new online casino to play at and show how our best performing partners successfully differentiate themselves in each.

Games, Game Providers and Game Menu

For a seasoned slots player, the game selection is amongst the most important parts of the experience. A good mix of games, mixing classics and the very latest releases, from a range of providers, including big names and up and coming outfits, all presented it in an easily searchable format, is what is required.

How Many Games?

There are well over 250 game providers producing slots for the online market today, and well over 10,000 games for casino operators to make available to their players. Our experience has shown that the size of a casino’s slots list will range from around 700 (small white labels) up to close to 10,000 (independent casinos with their own platform like VideoSlots.com). Most come somewhere in the middle at between 2,000 and 5,000 slots provided by up to 100 studios.

To hold their own amongst the competition good casino operators should look to offer a minimum of 2,000 slots.

Adding New Slots

Whilst it’s important for a casino to offer a wide choice of games, it’s just as important to make sure that fresh content is added weekly. Through specialist slot player guides like our own, and other game review sites and social media, players are well aware of what new releases to expect each month. They are always hungry for new games, and between them, developers are producing 100s every month. Smart casinos will make themselves the go-to destination to play new slots on day of release if they want to appeal to the most avid slots fans.

And it’s not just about getting the games live. To keep players informed, release dates for new games should be publicised in advance along with teaser screenshots and descriptions, and a ‘new slots’ area clearly marked in the game lobby to make them easy to find.

Which Slot Providers?

Finding the right mix of game providers is important too. Due to platform restrictions and commercial considerations not all casinos can offer games from the full gamut of providers, but any new site should strive to make the selection of partners as wide as possible. We find sites with a broad and varied selection of providers, alongside a big game list, convert and retain customers better.

That means putting big names like Pragmatic Play, NetEnt and IGT alongside up and coming studios like Print Gaming and Peter and Sons, and popular but less high-profile ones, like Hacksaw Gaming or Crazy Tooth Studios. Choice like this ensures a casino can appeal to both populist tastes of the casual gambler and the more refined and selective interests of dedicated players.

Search and Filter Game Menus

Another area where some casinos successfully differentiate themselves from the competition is their game menu. Even a list of just 1,000 games is a lot to browse and it can be overwhelming if the slots are not presented in a simple way so that they can easily searched and filtered.

The best sites have found a way to allow their customers to filter games by theme, features, maximum wins, paylines, reels, and variance. In particular, we see that Skill on Net sites like Play OJO do this very well. It is a great way to encourage players to explore the game list and look for more titles like the ones they enjoy. And ultimately, it can contribute to more time spent on the site and wagering money.

Return to Player Rates

 Many slot providers, including Play n Go, Red Tiger, Pragmatic Play, Nolimit City and Hacksaw Gaming, create games with more than one Return to Player rate, with a range from around 96% to as low as 88%. They leave it to the casino operator to decide which setting to run the game on.

We analyse RTP settings in our own site reviews and have found that very few casinos choose the optimum settings, but instead choose to run games at 94% or less. Whilst this is a good way to improve house edge, it can be off-putting for savvy slots players who may also leave negative feedback about RTP rates in forums and on consumer review sites.

 From all the casinos we have reviewed, only one consistently runs slots at the optimum available RTP rate, regardless of the provider. Casinos should consider doing this as a point of difference and advertising this fact to attract smart slots players.

Bonus Packages

 The sign-up deal remains one of the strongest calls to action when marketing a casino. Most remain a mix of free spins and match bonuses, but there is significant differentiation in the following areas:

  • Free Spins Games – five years ago you would have been hard-pushed to find a free spins deal that was valid for any game other than Starburst. Fortunately, there is more choice now and some of the best converting deals we see give out free spins on alternative slots like Big Bass Bonanza from Pragmatic Play or Sahara Riches by Playtech. Choosing an interesting alternative game for free spins can be a good way to stand out from the competition.
  • Wagering Requirements – the most attractive free spins offers are those where wagering requirements have been removed completely and winning are paid in cash. These are more common than they used to be but many casinos still avoid them as they increase the risk of cashouts from promotions. However, it’s worth considering a well configured deal where adequate protection is afforded by offering a small number of spins, as this can still out-perform a deal with more spins where winnings are paid in bonus money.
  • Maximum Bonus – a 100% match bonus can be capped anywhere between £10 and £300 in the UK right now. In our own casino lists the average is around £250 and to stand out a site should offer a match that maxes out at around this number.

Website and App Design

First impressions count for a lot and casino players convert well when landing at a site with strong branding and a simple design that makes it clear what is on offer and how to claim it. Any business preparing to launch a new casino would do well to look at modern casinos like Casumo for inspiration, which have a clean design making it very easy to explore, locate useful information, register, deposit and play favourite slots.

Here are some features that top performing casinos regularly show on their home pages:

  • Sign Up Deal – it goes without saying that this should take center stage for new visitors.
  • Game List Teasers – rather than displaying the full list of games on offer, which can be overwhelming, some sites choose to present new visitors with teaser lists of just 5 or 10 of the most popular slot and live dealer tables.
  • Trust Signals – Good sites will include trust signals like badges for industry awards won, a running total of prizes paid out each day, and licensing information.
  • Payment Options – logos for accepted payment services is useful information for a prospective customer and also helps to build trust.

Withdrawal Service

Fast withdrawals are an important consideration for many casino players. In 2024 no one wants to wait 2 or 3 days to see money in their account when any other business would process a transaction instantly. Slow withdrawals are a very common trigger for negative reviews on TrustPilot and other consumer review sites.

In our casino reviews we test withdrawal times with real money and find significant differences in processing times. Some sites take just a few minutes, whilst others can take up to 72 hours when weekend withdrawals are delayed until Monday.

Ensuring operational resources and procedures are in place to process withdrawals at any time can enhance a casino’s reputation, as well as generating positive feedback on affiliate review sites. All of which can improve conversions and retention.

Account Verification

Alongside slow withdrawal times, tricky account verification procedures are another consistent bug bear for casino players. Whilst simple ID checks can be carried out behind the scenes on registration, according to regulation in the UK once a player reaches a certain threshold for deposits and withdrawals further checks are required and customers must share scans of documents that verify their identity and address. Typically, these are passport or driver license and utility bills, council tax bills or bank statements.

Documents can be shared in one of three ways:

  • Email – verification documents are sent via email. This can feel insecure when sharing personal documents. Manual checks are made after the emails are received.
  • Upload Via A Webpage – most sites allow you to upload documents via your account page which feels more profession and secure. Manual checks are made after the documents are uploaded.
  • 3rd Party Verification – some casinos use 3rd party software like HooYou, which uses AI to make checks and requires no manual intervention. Checks can be completed in minutes this way.

The best option here is the use of 3rd party AI software to automate this process. However, if that is not available, then having resource in place at the busiest times at least to manually carry out verification is essential to ensure there are no delays. Otherwise, players may be prevented from wagering or making withdrawals, an issue that can lead to negative feedback and poor customer retention.

Conclusion

There are many ways for a new casino to positively differentiate itself from the competition. The customer experience isn’t just about the bonuses and the games. In our experience, operational concerns like withdrawal and verification speed can lead to negative feedback and reviews, and a significant negative impact on retention and brand reputation too. That’s why the best casinos perform well across all these areas, neglecting none.

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