There has been a lot of discussion about how the internet has impacted on the high street over recent years, but even now if you walk own any high street in Ireland and you are still likely to find at least one betting shop. The Irish people have always loved gambling, particularly gambling on horse racing, so for many years the betting shop was an important feature of our leisure time. Nowadays of course many of us are more likely to do our sports gambling online than through a betting shop, which is why our high street betting shops have been forced to change. Most betting shops are now much more attractive places than they used to be, but the biggest change has been the installation of the controversial fixed odds games terminals which enable their customers to play gambling games such as roulette in the same way as they can play any other slot machines. The bookmakers claim that without these machines their betting shops are no longer viable because fewer people are using them. Here at gambling.ie we are not going to get involved in the pros and cons of these fixed odds terminals, but we are interested in how the popularity of playing gambling games appears to have taken off in Ireland. When the leading bookmakers decided to invest in the internet technology and software to enable their customers to gamble on their favourite sports online, nobody was particularly surprised that online sports gambling was a success. What did surprise many observers was how successful the next developments in online gambling proved to be. Having established their online sports gambling sites, some of the big bookmakers began to look at how they could get more out of their investment. The answer they came up with was to introduce a few gambling games on their sports gambling sites to test the water and find out whether their sports gambling customers would be interested in playing gambling games. We now know that not only did their established online customer base take to playing gambling games online, but there was also a whole new audience interested in that form of gambling. Clearly regular visitors to our real casinos were likely to enjoy the opportunity to play casino gambling games such as roulette online, and we should not have been surprised that the introduction of bingo and other similar numbers games would prove a huge success. Many would argue that of all the gambling games introduced by the leading bookmakers in the early days of online casino gambling, bingo was one of the most important because there were so many bingo fans across the country who still enjoyed the game but no longer went to their local bingo club on a regular basis. Whatever the reason the people of Ireland took to the idea of playing gambling games online from the comfort of their own homes, and the concept of online casinos was established. All the online gambling sites operated by the leading bookmakers have expanded very rapidly indeed, and most now have well over a hundred gambling games on their sites and some have even more.
Here at gambling.ie we have watched how the popularity of online casino gambling has grown over the years, and whereas our first recommended online casino list was entirely focused on the sites operated by the big bookmakers we now also have a number of smaller specialist online casinos which are focused solely on offering us a great range of gambling games. The vast majority of the gambling games offered by both the large sites operated by our bookmakers and the new specialist casino gambling sites are of course slots games in various forms, but we should not ignore the importance and popularity of the more traditional casino gambling games. Roulette and blackjack for instance are the two casino gambling games which have almost always been the primary attraction at most of our real casinos and therefore have a big following online, but we can now play a number of other traditional casino games which were rarely available in our own casinos. Craps and baccarat are two examples of traditional casino gambling games routinely available at casinos on the continent and in America, but almost never featured in any of our casinos here in Ireland. Now that these games and others like them are available online they are proving just as popular here as they are elsewhere in the world. Baccarat in particular is a traditional casino gambling game that has benefitted significantly from being available online to a much wider audience. We now know that baccarat is not a hugely complicated game confined to high rollers, as many of us may have thought. In fact playing baccarat online is very easy indeed because you don’t actually need to know the rules because the game is controlled by the dealer. All the player has to do is predict the outcome of each hand, and there are only three possible outcomes to choose from. Either the dealer’s hand wins or the player’s hand wins. The only other possible outcome is a tie which is very rare and almost never backed by experienced players.
While we are discussing these traditional casino gambling games we should also mention how the introduction of roulette led to one of the most significant developments in the online casino gambling sector. Almost every gambling game featured online uses a Random Number Generator or RNG to select the winning number or equivalent, but when an RNG was used to select a winning number for the game of roulette it quickly became apparent that the computer graphics could not satisfactorily illustrate the appropriate movement of the ball on the wheel to get to the selected number. This led to doubts as to the validity of the game in some quarters and the site operators needed to act. The answer was the live casino option in which the game is streamed live from a remote studio using real dealers. Nowadays almost all the online gambling site operators offer a live casino option for gambling games such as roulette, blackjack and even baccarat.