Betkiwi’s Rating Guidelines

At BetKiwi, we follow strict rating guidelines to provide structure, accuracy, and consistency when reviewing all aspects of online gaming such as casinos, sportsbooks, bonuses, payment methods, and games. Our reviews are well-researched and offer you the most reliable and up-to-date information to help you to make informed choices. This guide will show how we gather and analyse data to provide our Kiwi readers with the most accurate and detailed information about casinos, sportsbooks, slot games, and more.

Betkiwi's Rating Process

How We Create Statistically Accurate Ratings

BetKiwi follows a meticulously designed evaluation process to ensure that our ratings are 100% accurate every time. This page will detail how we collect and analyse data, use statistical techniques to inform our ratings and break it down to provide accurate scores. We’ll also highlight the key elements used to rate and review online casinos, sportsbooks, pokies, casino games, payment methods, and bonuses.

We Employ Experts

At BetKiwi we only employ like-minded individuals with years of first-hand experience playing at online casinos and/or sportsbooks. This ensures that our team has a deep understanding of emerging trends, industry standards, and the technical aspects of gaming platforms. Head to our Meet the Team page to learn more about our expert team members.

We Gather Data

When researching a new online casino or sports betting platform, we explore key elements of the site and its mobile & desktop user experience to inform our review. These are explained in more depth further down the page where we share what you should expect from leading online gambling sites and what things to watch out for.

In addition to our set criteria, we also employ part-time “mystery shoppers”, anonymous gamblers who play at online sites regularly and report their findings back to us These reports help us to collect a wide range of opinions from real players that help give our reviews varied perspectives.

How We Analyse Data

Behind each of our ratings is a combination of various statistical techniques used to influence the scores. We don’t just pick a number at random, each score is carefully allocated based on reliable research and complex data analysis. The techniques we use include Wilson Score Interval, Bayesian Averages, Item Response Theory, Cluster Analysis, and Predictive Modeling. Here’s a brief overview of each:

Bayesian Averages

The Bayesian Averages technique is especially useful when reviewing new online platforms, as it incorporates prior knowledge about similar sites when calculating average ratings for a website. This helps ensure that just because a new site may not have received feedback yet it isn’t unduly penalised with a low score. The Bayesian Averages approach helps to stabilise ratings and provide Kiwis with a more accurate reflection of the site’s value from the onset.

Item Response Theory (IRT)

The Item Response Theory methodology looks at the odds of winning or losing when considering the difficulty of a game and is very useful to us when reviewing pokies and other popular casino titles. The basic idea is that if you win when playing a game that is considered to be particularly challenging it shows an acquired skill, more so than winning on a statistically easier game. This advanced model provides insight into game fairness and lets us adjust the ratings based on the quality of play and the game’s level of difficulty.

Cluster Analysis

Cluster analysis brings together casinos or sportsbooks that offer similar features, helping players to find sites which will match their preferences more easily. This advanced method can identify patterns and similarities not immediately apparent to help enhance personalised recommendations. It enables us to tailor our listings based on various features.

Predictive Modeling

Predictive modelling uses historical data to forecast future outcomes. By applying this method we can forecast future changes like shifts in customer satisfaction or the rising popularity of new casinos. This approach enables us to refine our ratings by anticipating future changes in user experiences over time.

At BetKiwi, we hold numerous casino brands in our portfolio, and each has been analysed using our combination of methodologies. This historical data enables us to get a broader picture of their operation, development, and player popularity over time.

Betkiwi Scores

All of the above can sound very complicated, right? This is why we simplify our ratings by giving review scores across multiple categories. These complex methodologies and expert evaluations are broken down into simple, user-friendly scores such as 4.5 out of 5 stars. This helps our readers quickly get a general idea about the quality of everything we review, thus simplifying their decision-making process.

Why Trust Our Ratings?

At BetKiwi, we are committed to providing players from New Zealand with accurate and trustworthy ratings. Our review process is extensive and we only employ experts with first-hand experience, whether it’s a new pokie or a sports betting website that you want to read about. We gather and analyse data using statistical methodologies and then simplify them with ratings to make them easier to understand.

4.8 to 5.0

Top tier sites or games that we recommend for Kiwi players without hesitation.

4.5 to 4.7

Excellent sites or games which may have slight room for improvement but we still highly recommend them.

4.0 to 4.4

Great sites or games well worth checking out, but there are better options out there.

3.5 to 3.9

Sites or games with some good features but also downsides that may be dealbreakers. Average, but worth checking out if you have the time.

3.4 and below


While not terrible, these sites or games are worse than any others on our site, so we do not typically recommend them.

How Do We Rate Online Casinos

How Do We Rate Online Casinos?

It’s essential to play at trusted and reputable online casinos, so BetKiwi ensures you access the latest information on New Zealand online casinos. We examine several factors to ensure we deliver detailed and honest reviews of gambling sites.

Licensing and Security

One of the most important aspects is that the online casino is licensed and regulated. The licence should be current and valid, with the licensing authority regulating the online casino for fair practices. A casino that fails to have an iGaming licence is not one to be trusted. The casino platform should also use SSL encryption and other security measures to protect players’ data.

Game Selection

We look at the variety and number of games available on the platform. It should range from pokies to other casino games, with all your favourites offered. We also examine whether these casino games allow demo play and whether live dealer games and a sportsbook are available. We also consider whether there are any exclusive or branded games, and different versions of your favourite casino games.

Trusted Providers

The selection of providers listing their titles at the online casino is an excellent way to see the fairness of a casino. The more providers are listed, the more diverse titles you’ll find and enjoy. It also means the top providers, like NetEnt, Microgaming, Yggdrasil, Play’n GO, and so forth, trust the site to offer their games.

Positive Player Reviews

While negative reviews will always be present, we look to see if the majority are positive reviews. A casino site that keeps its users happy is automatically more reliable than other sites.

Transparent Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions of an online casino clearly indicate how fair their gaming practices are. The terms and conditions should clearly state all restrictions and rules the casino site enforces. Transparent terms and conditions ensure Kiwi players know what to expect from a casino site. It also means you won’t unnecessarily lose your winnings due to obscure conditions that aren’t explained adequately.

Payment Methods and Withdrawal Process

The available payment methods and withdrawal process say a lot about an online casino. We want multiple payment methods, from cards and e-wallets to bank transfers and cryptos. This gives you a better chance of using a convenient deposit and withdrawal method. We also look at the withdrawal times, fees charged and transaction limits when evaluating the payment options.

Account Registration and Verification

Registering as a new player should be a straightforward process, and we always check what is required from you. It shouldn’t take longer than a few minutes and should allow you to play almost instantly. We look at what information the operator requires from you during the sign-up. We also look at how easy it is to verify your account, how long it takes and what you can do on the site before your account is verified.

Customer Service

Customer service is crucial, as this is your lifeline to the casino in case of any problems. We prefer it if the support is available 24/7, but the casino should indicate clear working times if it isn’t. We consider what support channels are available, whether multilingual support is offered, and if the support is easily accessible. We also check whether the support agents are quick to respond, give efficient answers and have a friendly attitude.

Responsible Gaming

BetKiwi is committed to ensuring Kiwis have access to responsible gaming tools. We check which tools the operator offers and how easily players can use these tools. The responsible gaming tools we look for are personal limits, from daily, weekly and monthly deposit, loss and wager limits. We also look for session limits, reality checks, cool-off periods and self-exclusion.

User-friendly Interface

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to access a chaotic and poorly constructed casino site. We look at how appealing and attractive the casino site appears and how accessible it is on different devices. We consider what navigation elements are available, and whether Kiwis can find their favourite pokies and casino games without effort.


Promotions and bonuses are a big part of online casinos, so we evaluate these offers extensively. We look at each offer, the terms and restrictions, and how easy they are to claim. We also consider the variety of bonuses available, from a welcome bonus and reload bonuses to cashback and VIP programs. These offers should boost the player’s bankroll and make it attractive to continue playing on the site while offering fair terms.

Future Changes

The last thing we look at when reviewing online casinos is what future changes are expected. If the casino doesn’t offer a live casino lobby, we look at whether that might be an option in the future. If the casino doesn’t have social media or a live chat, we confirm whether it’s an upcoming feature. This is crucial as it shows the casino is constantly striving to improve its platform for Kiwis.

How We Rate Sportsbooks

How Do We Rate Online Sportsbooks?

There are tons of sportsbooks online, but finding reputable operators that offer a great sports betting experience isn’t always easy. That’s where the following criteria we use to evaluate online sportsbooks come in:

Licensing & Security

At BetKiwi, we prioritise the safety of NZ players as they enjoy online casino games. During our rating procedure, we place extra emphasis on licensing and security. Our experts first verify that the online casino holds a valid gaming licence then evaluate the credibility of the regulatory authority.

We recognise the UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority, and Curaçao eGaming as some of the top licensing bodies in the online casino space. Regarding security, our focus is on how the site protects users’ personal and financial information. So, we evaluate measures like SSL technology for encryption and 2FA for extra login security.

It’s also essential that the platforms we recommend maintain fair and transparent data policies. As a result, those online sportsbooks with certificates and approval from independent testing agencies like eCOGRA and iTech Labs are much more likely to get high ratings from our experts.

Bonuses & Promotions

Most NZ players want to kick off their online casino journey with exciting bonuses and claim more rewards as they continue playing. For this reason, reviewing the available promotions at gaming sites forms a core part of our rating criteria at BetKiwi.

We prioritise quantity and quality, so our highest-rated operators not only have many offers, but each one is truly valuable to the players. First, we check the welcome bonus. Our experts measure the available sign-up offers to verify if they’re worth claiming by new players.

For match welcome bonuses, we consider the percentage, maximum bonus cap, minimum deposit, and if they come with free bet offers. Significant attention is given to the wagering requirements to confirm that they’re reasonable for players to meet and receive their winnings.

Aside from the welcome bonus, our experts evaluate offers aimed at existing punters, like reloads, cashbacks, free bets, and no-deposit bonuses. As with casinos, loyalty and VIP programs are a surefire sign that the casino wants to reward loyal bettors and keep them invested long after they’ve burned through the welcome offers and promotions.

Odds & Markets

A core part of the online betting experience is having a good variety of odds and markets. To evaluate the odds, our experts conduct detailed calculations of overround and margins. Sportsbooks that offer more potential returns on players’ bets get our top ratings. While reviewing market variety, we focus primarily on the range of sports and competitions available.

We pay particular attention to the betting options available for top sports loved by Kiwis, like rugby, football, cricket, and netball. Our position is that the best online casinos with betting options will feature all the popular sports and events plus hundreds of betting markets. Finally, a good sportsbook is an up-to-date one, so we make sure to check for available in-play markets so our readers know they can place bets on the latest events.

Payment Methods

Our experts at BetKiwi take the time to test each deposit and withdrawal option available at online gaming sites. We like to see a wide range to choose from, including bank cards, e-wallets, and mobile payments. That way, players can choose any method they find most convenient.

We also evaluate the ease of performing transactions and the limits that apply. Finally, we try to find casinos with minimal or no deposit or withdrawal fees. Money transfers should be quick, simple, and safe, while not costing players extra money

Mobile Experience

Based on our research, most NZ players who visit our site use their smartphones. We recognise the popularity of mobile gaming and why online casinos must be mobile-compatible. As part of their evaluation, our experts pay attention to how responsive and intuitive gaming on a mobile device is.

For starters, any good sportsbook page must be able to adapt to fit smaller screens when players access it via their mobile browser. Bonus points are given to those that also have convenient mobile apps. To ensure a comprehensive mobile experience, we also test those apps’ game variety and loading speed. We further check for mobile-specific payment methods to find out if players can carry out transactions on the go.

Responsible Betting

Sports betting can be a fun activity, but it’s also a slippery slope that can easily spiral out of control and become dangerous. That’s why every responsible sportsbook needs to have certain protocols in place to help players control their betting activities and avoid problem gambling.

The primary feature we prioritise for this category is the availability of self-limiting tools. We highly rate NZ online casinos that allow players to set deposit, session, and loss limits. These options help users avoid spending more time and money than is good for them. Our experts also review the casinos’ policies regarding cooling-off periods and self-exclusion.

Another aspect we look for is ease of access to support resources. The best sites let players quickly get in touch with renowned, responsible gambling organisations to seek professional help.

Customer Support

Responsive and professional customer support service is a must for every good casino and sportsbook. Top-notch platforms will have multiple contact options, from live chat to email, support tickets, and even a dedicated phone line. Furthermore, they’ll provide timely and helpful support through well-written help documents or friendly and knowledgeable support staff.

How Do We Rate Pokies

How Do We Rate Pokies?

Pokies are some of the most popular and fun games, with a massive global library available. We know new pokies are released all the time, so we ensure to provide a clear review of what to expect when spinning the reels.

Game Features

We consider whether there are any innovative game mechanisms to attract your attention, and if the bonus features are lucrative. . We also review how much the pokie offers you, whether there’s a jackpot available, the paytable rewards, and whether there’s more than one bonus feature.

Graphics and Sound

The graphics and sound often make or break a pokie. No matter how enjoyable the game mechanics are, if the graphics are of poor quality and the soundtrack bland, it often won’t manage to hold a player’s attention for long. With improved pokie technology, we expect excellent and fun graphics, with exciting music that fits the theme of the pokie.

RTP and Volatility

An RTP (Return to Player) percentage refers to the theoretical payout of the pokie or casino game tested over billions of spins. We look for a high RTP, with the average RTP around 96%. We also consider the game’s volatility, with low volatility meaning frequent small wins and high volatility meaning infrequent, more significant wins.

Maximum Winnings

The maximum winnings of a pokie indicate how much you can win in one game and sets the tone for the pokie. We confirm whether the maximum win is a jackpot amount or the cumulative amount you can collect in one game. We look for pokies with a high maximum win when reviewing what the games offer players.

How Do We Rate Casino Games

How Do We Rate Other Casino Games?

Whether you’re a fan of poker, blackjack, roulette, baccarat or any other casino game, you should clearly understand the game’s worth. We review the classic favourites and new variations to ensure you know what to expect.

Gameplay Difficulty

The first thing to consider is whether a game is challenging to play. Some games are more suited for experienced players, like poker variations. Other games, like roulette, can be enjoyed by both beginners and experienced players without much skill needed. We look at how complicated the game rules are, whether it’s purely a game of chance or skill and whether new players can easily enjoy it.

House Edge

The house edge in casino games can vary depending on the game, the version and other factors. For example, American Roulette has a higher house edge than European Roulette due to the double zero slot on the wheel. We consider the house edge and what it means for Kiwis who play the game.

Online Availability

While there are hundreds of casino games and variations of those games available, they’re not commonly available at all online casinos. A top casino game will often be found at most online casinos, showing how popular the game is with players. However, some games, like Teen Patti or the game show Dream Catcher, might not be as available as poker and blackjack. We consider how easily you can find the casino game at New Zealand online casinos and whether it’s easy to access.

RTP and Live Dealer

Virtual casino games, like slots, use RNG (random number generators), which ensure fairness as no game will play the same way twice. We also examine whether a casino stocks average RTP (96%) and above average RTP (97%+) games, and what the house edge is for table games. If a site uses live dealers, we consider their professionalism and the availability of live titles.

How Do We Rate Payment Methods

How Do We Rate Payment Methods?

The available payment methods are vital to know about before playing at an online casino. We look at the standard payment methods online casinos offer and what makes these payment methods worthwhile.


The first factor to consider is whether the method is available to New Zealand players. While many different methods are listed on most online casinos, payment methods are often restricted depending on the country.


The second aspect to consider is how useful the payment method is to players. This doesn’t just refer to how easy it is to use the method but also whether it’s available for both deposit and withdrawal. Often, online casinos state you need to withdraw using a method you’ve deposited with, so we consider whether this payment method is generally available for both options. We also consider any restriction on the method, like how Skrill and Neteller are often restricted from bonuses.

Transaction Limits and Fees

Different payment methods have different transaction limits, and we want to ensure players have the highest possible limits. The payment method should have a low minimum deposit and a high withdrawal amount, with low fees.

Withdrawal Speed

There’s nothing worse than waiting around for days on end to receive your winnings. Taking into account the casino’s processing speed, we also look at the general withdrawal speed of the payment method. Cryptos generally withdraw within 24 hours, while e-wallets take between one and three days. Cards can take between one and five days, while bank transfers usually take four to seven days.

How Do We Rate Casinos Bonuses

How Do We Rate Casino Bonuses?

Casino bonuses are the incentives online casinos use to attract new players and keep them invested in the casino site. While bonuses can look lucrative on the surface, there are many factors to consider to see whether the bonus is worthwhile.


We first consider when a bonus is available and how easily you can claim the offer. Some bonuses are available only once within a certain period, like welcome bonuses, while others are recurring offers, like reload bonuses. Some are available permanently, like VIP programs and cashback, and some are time-limited bonuses, like New Game free spins or Anniversary bonuses.

Bonus Offer

We next consider the actual offer and whether it’s a good one for the purpose of the bonus. For example, a welcome bonus should make it easier for the player to start playing on the site. For this reason, it’s often a matched deposit and some free spins to get the ball rolling. It’ll often have a sizable maximum bonus and should look attractive to new players.

Minimum Deposit

All bonuses have a minimum deposit required to claim it. This can vary wildly, depending on the type of bonus. The minimum deposit shouldn’t be too high (ideally around $10/$20), especially not in relation to the bonus amount offered. Some deposits also have payment restrictions, like how deposits via Neteller or Skrill are not valid for claiming a promotion.

Wagering Requirements

The wagering requirements are essential when evaluating a bonus, no matter how lucrative it might seem on the surface. Completing the bonus will be challenging if you get a massive bonus, but it has over 50x wagering requirements. We also check whether the wagering requirements are for the bonus, or the deposit and bonus combined. Lastly, we look at how long you have to complete the wagering requirement.

Other Bonus Terms

The last thing we look at is if there are any other bonus terms you need to keep in mind. This can range from how the bonus will be credited to your account, whether you need to use a promo code or when you can claim the bonus. It also means looking to see if there are capped winnings or a maximum bet amount while the bonus is active.

Why Rating Guidelines Are Important To Us

Rating Guidelines directly impact the structure, direction and tone of our reviews and help maintain consistency across our website. They also ensure that our content is objective, comprehensive and reader-friendly.

Contact Us

If you have any further questions or feedback concerning our rating guidelines, check out our Contact Us page or shoot us an email at [email protected].