Online casinos are one of the major success stories of the last decade, and the industry has grown rapidly from just a few start-ups less than a decade ago. With so many casino games and so many different casinos appealing for your attention, what's the best way of deciding where to play?
First of all, look at what's in it for you. Casinos such as SkyVegas offer their customers sign up bonuses which augment any money you put into an account. You shouldn't really think of this as free money, since it's unusual that you can withdraw it straight away. The bonus is actually gaming credit, but that means that you don't have to risk your own cash if you want to play money casino games, and anything you do win, you'll be able to withdraw.
Secondly, look for a good range of free games. Online casinos are about enjoyment, and if you only enjoy it when you're gambling real money, then either the range of games isn't very good, or you're likely to get poor very quickly. A company that puts a lot of effort into a range of free games, is one that wants the customer to have a good time, not just to take their money.
Third, try to avoid casinos that require some sort of download package. It's not a general rule, but any casino that has solid, well thought out software is going to be fully inclusive, and you shouldn't need to download anything. Plus, these downloads can affect your system in other ways, so – as there are lots of companies that don't require you to download anything – don't do it if you don't have to.
Fourthly, make sure you take a thorough look at their industry accreditations. eCOGRA is the official regulating body of the gaming industry, and you should only play on sites which are eCOGRA certified because it gives you extra protection. Also look for other awards from industry bodies and keep an eye out for reviews by other gamers.
Finally, the quality of a company is often demonstrated by how well it looks after it's customers. Even if you're never likely to actually play for money, take a quick look and see if the company makes a provision to help people who develop problem gambling. It's always a sign of a really well run company.