What’s Out There, and How Do You Choose? How do you browse through all the online casinos to select the casino and games that are right for you? There are so many to choose from, literally hundreds of thousands, with many games designed to entice you into their casinos, to help you spend your entertainment dollars, offer you bonuses for play, and perhaps even reward you with profitable payouts, depending on your skills (and luck). That’s what we all love about the adrenalin-pumping action of gambling, after all. Where terrestrial casinos are concerned, it takes time to investigate the offerings of each casino. If you’re visiting a gambling Mecca in the US, for example, you don’t want to lose too much precious vacation time making choices, you want to hit the casino gaming floor and start playing. Some preliminary homework usually pays off, to get the ‘lay of the land’ and get a game plan formulated (literally). If you’re visiting my favorite town ever – Las Vegas – for instance, you may want to have a plan to spend a day downtown in the Fremont Street district, and spend another day on the world-famous ‘strip’, with all it has to offer, as well. By spending some time in advance searching the web for information on the casinos, you can make the best use of your time and money, and ensure you at least hit the highlights of ‘sin city’, taking in as much as possible. The same can be said for online casinos. There are plenty of ‘best of’ web sites available for you to investigate those operators who have consistently received favorable or rave reviews from patrons, allowing you to quickly pick one (or two, or a few) that stand out to you. There could be many attributes that pull you in, including attractive web sites, offers of bonus play, and the selection of games available. I must admit that I’m particularly fond of slot games, but I’ve also spent a fair amount of time on table games and video poker. Most of the online casinos have a wide variety to pick from, some of them 200 or more game options. How do You Choose? In many areas, earth-bound casino choices have expanded in recent years, especially in the US, as state and local governments are lured by attraction to the tax revenue they can generate. That’s great for gamers, as it brings casino gambling closer to home, allowing them to join in the fun more often, with more convenience, and less travel expense. Online casinos eliminate the need to travel, as the casino is as close as your computer, laptop, or even tablet. You can be carrying a casino in your handbag, or play on your phone – more access than ever before. To make the experience of online gaming even more enjoyable, some of these sites even provide interactive chat with other gamers, casino personnel, and also instruct you on how to play their games. Another plus is that you can engage in online play at your convenience, any day, any time. Like most land-based casinos, they’re never closed. You also don’t have any concerns regarding bad weather, airport security, or even farming the kids out to grandparents or other relatives for a few days. On the other hand, online casinos don’t have buffets or fine-dining restaurants, exciting nightlife, or live shows that you may even attend free, with comps earned by your play. Earthbound casinos also provide a genuine getaway from real life, if only for a while. Where but Las Vegas do you have a volcano, tropical gardens and waterfalls, dolphins, and beaches, all in the middle of the desert? Did I mention Las Vegas is my favorite town? The best of both worlds is likely to spread your gaming experience around, with a mix of brick-and-mortar casinos, combined with visits to online gaming sites. Bad Eggs Many gamers are somewhat wary of online casinos, and the disreputable casino operators have generated hesitation for more than a few potential patrons. You need to spend a little time researching the recommended casinos from doing a few web searches, and avoid those that you run across as providing questionable experiences, or that possibly even have legal proceedings against them. There are a number of auditing and evaluation firms that are recognized by the gaming industry, such as eCOGRA (e-Commerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) and Technical System Testing (TST). Look for logos from these, or other independent evaluation firms, for confidence that the site has received some level of examination and certification. Most online and land casinos are reputable entrepreneurs, competing for your business. Go Play! Whether you hit the Vegas strip, venture to Atlantic City, patronize a local casino, or light up the computer and hit the online casinos, be sure you feel comfortable with your choice. Some land casinos, as well as online sites, just don’t give you the right feel for spending your hard-earned money with them. If you get that kind of feeling with your surroundings, move along. There are plenty of honest operators who strive to give their customers a high level of service and entertainment value for your money. Make the selection that works best for you, and have a great time!