Among the different destinations and travel activities we cover here at Leisure Group Travel, there tends to be a fair amount of focus on casino destinations, both in the U.S. and abroad. As helpful as it is to highlight different venues though, comparing them to one another directly tends to be tricky. At a glance, a lot of casino properties look more or less alike.

Instead of comparing these destinations then, a good approach to casino travel is to consider what you want in this kind of venue generally. That way you can see how individual options stack up to your expectations, and make your decision based on personal preferences rather than vague comparisons.

So what should you look for in a casino destination? Again, this is a matter of personal preference, so the answer to that question really depends on what you want. To help get you started though, these are a few of the considerations and questions we’d suggest bearing in mind when assessing casino properties.

Are there a variety of table games?

It might sound like an unnecessary question to ask, but the fact of the matter is that a fair number of casinos rely heavily on slot machines and video poker and blackjack machines. If that’s all you’re interested in on the gaming front, then great! If you’re in search of a full casino gaming experience though, it’s a good idea to look ahead and make sure that there are enough table games in house. These include poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, and sometimes a few additional games, and a lot of people enjoy them the most out of all casino games.

Is there a sportsbook?

It may or may not be important to you, but if you’re interested at all in the sports betting side of casino culture, you may want to check in advance to see if there’s an in-house sportsbook. This is basically an area designated for sports betting and viewing — typically a sort of sports bar where people can actively wager on outcomes. It can be a lot of fun if you’re into that sort of thing, and chances are it’s about to become a bigger focus of casinos in America in particular. A recent Wall Street Journal report indicated that ESPN is making a major sports betting play, which would make the activity much more mainstream than it already is. Casinos would likely follow suit by prioritizing sports betting and sportsbooks all the more.

What about bingo?

Bingo was considered by many to be a game of the past not too long ago, but can now be one of the livelier offerings in a casino. It’s actually been revived largely by online casinos, which essentially used themes and graphics to make bingo seem fun again. The rooms on Gala Bingo have set a particularly high standard in this movement, adding musical beats, animated lighting, and pop culture subject matter like Deal Or No Deal to bingo games. That’s a sort of pinnacle of digital bingo you won’t find at an in-person casino. However, the online bingo revolution has made the game relevant again, and there’s a bit more buzz in some brick-and-mortar bingo halls. If there is such a hall in the casino you’re planning on visiting, don’t be surprised if it makes for some of the most fun you have.

How’s the on-site dining?

When it comes to extras and amenities at casinos, a lot of people focus on spas and room comforts. These are worthwhile considerations, but the bottom line is most decent casinos have fairly comfortable rooms — and if there’s a spa and/or pool deck on the premises, you’ll probably enjoy yourself at either. The dining, however, can be more of a question mark. Some casinos are packed with incredible fine dining options; some place very little emphasis on food and drink; and some naturally fall in between. Bear in mind though that it’s very nice to have some easy, close dining options on this kind of trip. You’ll want to take a look in advance at what’s offered.

Is there anything to do outside?

It can also be wonderful to have a reason to get away from a casino and mix things up a little bit. Specifically, it can be nice to get outside during what is typically a thoroughly indoor sort of getaway. And while these experiences aren’t always advertised, they’re actually quite common around casinos. Las Vegas has become increasingly well known for the surrounding hiking spots; the main attractions in Monaco, around Casino de Monte-Carlo, include some incredible glimpses of nature and outdoor walks; even the smaller casinos in the Blue Ridge Mountains tend to be close to hiking and climbing spots, or swimming holes. Keep an eye out for these sorts of things, as they can ultimately make your vacation a bit more dynamic.

Answer questions like these, and you’ll get a feel for which casino venue or destination most appeals to you. From there, the trip planning will begin to take care of itself, and you’ll be in for a wonderful time at your casino of choice.