It has to be said that gambling is not currently getting a good press, and to be honest probably never has in some quarters. The same is true for bookmakers, particularly the big corporate bookmakers who control most of the gambling market. This is in spite of the fact that most of these companies employ a great many people in their high street betting shops and the head offices. Here at gambling.ie we will never condone targeting an underage audience, nor indeed will we ever ignore the fact that there are people out there who do have a gambling addiction and need help to overcome that addiction. What we can’t do however is to heap all the blame on the bookmakers. The love of gambling has been part of the human character for hundreds of years, and certainly wasn’t invented by the big bookmakers we know today. What we can say is that the big corporate bookmakers have changed the way we gamble, particular over recent years with online gambling, and they have vastly increased our gambling options. When the leading bookmakers decided that they could no longer ignore the internet and needed to follow the big high street retailers by having a presence online, they changed the gambling environment for ever. The introduction of online sports gambling sites meant that sports gambling fans were no longer obliged to go down to their local betting shop to place a bet, they could suddenly do it online from their home computer or laptop. Nowadays of course they can even place a bet from their mobile phone. The other major change for sports gambling enthusiasts was the huge range of different sports and sporting events they could access and follow online. They could even place bets on sporting event taking place on the other side of the world, so sporting seasons between the northern and southern hemisphere countries became largely irrelevant. All the online sports gambling sites operated by the big bookmakers offered easily accessible odds on a massive range of sports from all over the world, including many which up until these sites came on stream would only be followed by really avid supporters. These online gambling sites also helped to create a whole new audience for some sports which had previously been considered to be of minor interest. The mainstream American sports of baseball and gridiron football for example are now extremely popular over here, and our own GAA sports are now accessible for Irish expats all over the world. It is however not just the increased sports gambling options which the leading bookmakers have provided for us online, they have also given us the opportunity to play a huge range of gambling games on their sites. It was the big bookmakers who continued their investment in online gambling by adding some gambling games to their successful sports gambling sites, and in doing so creating what we now call online casino gambling. The original intention of the bookmakers was probably simply to encourage their existing sports gambling customers to spend more time on their sites, but the idea of being able to play a whole range of gambling games online proved to be an instant success for a whole new group of people who were not necessarily sports gambling fans. Regular visitors to our real casinos were clearly likely to enjoy the opportunity to play their favourite gambling games online, but they were quickly joined by the army of bingo fans who had perhaps stopped going to the bingo clubs but still loved the game. Last but certainly not least we come to the hundreds of slots gambling games we can now play online. There are very few of us who have not enjoying playing on a slot machine at some time in our lives, and the casino gambling site operators have been quick to recognise the popularity of such easy and accessible gambling fun.
All the online gambling sites operated by the leading bookmakers offer very similar sports gambling options, and even the quoted odds on a particular event are often the same so it is difficult for the average sports gambling fan to decide which of the bookmaker’s sites to register with. Some of the leading bookmakers do of course use a variety of tactics to stand out from the crowd, with Irish favourite Paddy Power a great example of the sort of marketing that can be achieved by innovative thinking. Generally speaking though the main difference between the online gambling sites operated by the big bookmakers is now almost completely down to the range of casino gambling games they offer, and that in turn is influenced by their choice of casino software supplier. The Paddy Power site is of course the first port of call for many Irish sports gambling fans because of their huge presence on our high streets, but it is also true that in choosing to feature gambling games supplied by one of the smaller software companies, namely Wagerworks they have also created an excellent casino gambling section with many exclusive games. Ladbrokes also have a big high street presence in Ireland and after some teething problems now also offer an excellent range of gambling games on their site. Some of the bookmakers who operate successful online gambling sites do not have any betting shops in Ireland, and a few do not have any betting shops at all.
Although the introduction of the whole casino gambling sector was entirely due to the foresight and capital investment of the big bookmakers, it was not long before they were joined by a number of smaller specialist online casino sites where the whole focus was on the quality of the gambling games. There is no doubt that the online gambling sites operated by the big bookmakers now face stiff competition from these specialist casino gambling sites such as our own All Irish casino. Sports gambling fans are not catered for at online casino gambling sites like these, but for those who enjoy gambling games they are good news.