If ever we needed further evidence as to how much we all now rely on computers the recent chaos caused by the failure of British Airways computer systems is a perfect example. Thousands of passengers were stranded at Heathrow and Gatwick, and the knock on effect left thousands more unable to get home from airports across the world. This is of course just one recent example of what can happen when we rely on computers and something goes wrong, but our dependence computerisation has become so deeply entrenched in almost everything we do that there can be no turning back whatever the problems caused by failures like that. Most of the time of course the computer systems we rely on in our daily lives work perfectly satisfactorily, and not only make our lives easier but also provide us with a wide range of options in how we use our leisure time. Many of us can now access the internet through a whole range of different devices, including mobile phones and tablets which enable us to use the internet wherever and whenever we like. Clearly our primary interest here at gambling.ie is in how we use this accessibility to the internet to enjoy our leisure time, particularly when it comes to our gambling activities. When our leading bookmakers decided that they needed to offer their sports gambling customers the opportunity to place their bets online in much the same way as they were able to do their shopping online, they were able to access a whole new audience. Since those early days online gambling has grown and grown, and the bookmakers have seen their online gambling turnover become a bigger and bigger proportion of their total earnings almost every year. That increase in earnings from online gambling is of course not just the result of the opportunity for us to do our sports gambling online, the bookmakers have also created a whole new online gambling sector by introducing gambling games on their sites. This led to the rise in popularity of playing gambling games online and subsequently to the creation of what we now call online casino gambling.
When the big bookmakers first started to provide us with the opportunity to do our sports gambling online, they quickly realised that it was very easy to offer far more gambling options on their websites than they could ever hope to do through their high street betting shops. This meant that not only were their existing sports gambling customers able to follow a much wider range of sports, they could also attract a new group of potential sports gambling fans who were not particularly interested in horse racing or football, but enjoyed gambling on their own favourite sports. The fact that operating through a website rather than through a high street premises always enables the operator to offer a much wider range of options was not lost on the big bookmakers who were operating those first online sports gambling sites. When they started to look for ways to get even better returns on their investment in online gambling, one obvious option was to provide their online customers with the opportunity to play gambling games online as well as betting on their favourite sports. This proved to be so successful that all the bookmakers who were operating online gambling sites started to introduce more and more gambling games onto their sites to the extent that most of these big online gambling sites now offer up to two hundred different gambling games, and sometimes even more.
The introduction of a casino gambling section as part of their larger online sports gambling sites also enabled the bookmakers to offer something different to that offered by their rivals. Sports gambling fans can log onto almost any of the websites operated by our big bookmakers, and they will find very little difference in either the range of sports they can follow, or even in the odds being offered on the sporting events. Where they will find a difference is in the range of gambling games available on each site. Most of the major sites offer their customers the option to play all the traditional casino gambling games such as roulette, blackjack and baccarat, but it is in the range of slots games they offer that they can provide a different set of options. The importance of the slots games offered on these online casino gambling sites cannot be overstated, and is the reason why the casino software companies have become so important in the online gambling sector. All the slots gambling games you will find at the online gambling sites have been designed and supplied by the casino software companies, so one of the most important decisions made by the bookmakers operating these sites is which of the software companies to work with. Ladbrokes, William Hill and Betfred for instance all currently use Playtech to supply all or some of their slots games, whereas Bwin use a Canadian company called Chartwell Technology to supply their games. The biggest bookmaker in Ireland is of course Paddy Power, and the Paddy Power online gambling site is also the most popular of all the websites operated by the leading bookmakers in Ireland. The slots games offered on the Paddy Power site are designed and supplied by another software company called Wagerworks. Originally part of a group manufacturing slot machines, Wagerworks is now an independent company solely focussed on online casino software. The decision to use Wagerworks has proved very successful for Paddy Power because it has meant that many of the gambling games they offer cannot be found anywhere else and are therefore exclusive. Everybody who has ever been involved in business will know that exclusivity is one of the biggest factors in attracting customers to any company, whether online or on the high street. The online casino gambling sites operated by the big bookmakers are now facing competition from a number of smaller specialist operators who only offer their customers a range of casino gambling games, so their decisions regarding software suppliers are now even more important.