There is no doubt that computers and more recently tablets and mobile phones with internet access are now so much a part of our everyday lives that it is almost impossible for some of us to remember what life was like before we had these devices. Certainly many of our youngsters would find it difficult to imagine life without a mobile phone and not being able to stay in constant contact with each other almost 24 hours a day. But it is not just the younger generation who have come to rely on these modern devices and the ability to use the internet whenever and wherever we happen to be. Almost all of us now use the internet to help us manage some part of our lives, even if it is just contacting friends and family through e mails, skype or any of the other social media sites. Many of us of course use the internet far more than that and now pay our bills and manage our bank accounts online, shop online and even spend part of our leisure time online. Here at gambling.ie it is clearly how the internet has influenced the way we spend our leisure time that interests us most, and particularly how it has changed our gambling habits. It is almost twenty years ago now that the leading bookmakers started to offer us the chance to do our sports gambling online as opposed to through our local betting shops. At the time the option to shop online was only just beginning to become a reality, so the bookmakers were actually in the forefront of the move towards internet trading and away from the high street. Initially these new online gambling sites set up by the big bookmakers were aimed specifically at their existing sports gambling customer base, but having invested time and money in setting up these internet sites they quickly started to look for ways to maximise their returns on that investment. That led to some of these bookmakers starting to introduce a few gambling games on their sites, a move which proved so successful that more and more games were added and the concept of online casino gambling was born. The success of the first online retail sites was based almost entirely on the convenience aspect of shopping online, but when the bookmakers introduced their online gambling sites they offered far more than just the convenience of being able to place bets from home, they also offered us far more choice. Suddenly our sports gambling options were not restricted to horse racing, greyhounds or football, we were offered odds on a whole range of alternative sports and we could even follow sporting events taking place on the other side of the world. The huge increase in choice was even more dramatic when it came to the casino gambling sections of these big online gambling sites. Very quickly many of the big casino gambling sites were offering their customers as many as two hundred different gambling games to choose from, ranging from the traditional casino games such as roulette, poker and blackjack, to bingo, dice games and of course a massive selection of slots games. Both forms of online gambling were more successful because of the way they were able to increase our gambling options.
Those of us who now do almost all our gambling through one of the many online gambling sites we now have access to will always be grateful to the big bookmakers who took the risk of investing in the technology and software necessary to operate a secure and interesting online gambling site. Many would argue that the most important element of any online gambling site is in fact the software, and the rise of online gambling has also led to a big online gambling software industry with some very big companies now involved. Although many of the sports gambling sections of the big sites operated by the leading bookmakers appear very similar and all offer the same sort of gambling options, it is in the casino gambling sections that the importance of the software suppliers becomes most apparent. This is because most of the gambling games we find on those sites have been designed by the software companies, who also negotiate any copyright and licensing issues which may arise from gambling games based on themed characters.
When choosing which online gambling site to use therefore it is more likely to be the range of gambling games on the site which informs our decision than the range of sports, and this in turn is dependent on the software they have chosen to use. In Ireland, the most popular of the online gambling sites operated by the bookmakers is almost certainly the Paddy Power site. This is partly because they have a massive high street presence in the country, but it is also because they chose to use software supplied by one of the smaller software companies, namely Wagerworks. That decision means that many of the gambling games available at the Paddy Power site are exclusive and not available elsewhere. The other leading bookmaker with a big high street presence in Ireland is of course Ladbrokes, and the Ladbrokes online gambling site is also popular, particularly for poker fans and indeed bingo fans. Ladbrokes have established an excellent poker platform for serious poker players to compete with each other, and a 24 hour bingo forum both of which have many fans.
These two bookmakers are undoubtedly the highest profile bookmakers in Ireland, but there are others such as William Hill, Betfred, Bwin and 888 all of whom have very good online gambling sites offering both sports gambling and a full range of gambling games. William Hill in particular have based their success on using one of the biggest software suppliers in the world, a company called Playtech which has grown so quickly on the back of supplying a range of online gambling games that it is now bigger than many of the bookmakers in the sector. At the end of the day we all have our favourite types of gambling games and that will be the basis of our decisions.