The speed with which the internet has influenced our lives has been truly remarkable. It really is not that long since many of us were only just beginning to contemplate buying a computer for our home use and trying to decide whether we really needed a computer at home or not. Nowadays some form of access to the internet, whether through a PC, laptop or mobile phone is almost considered to be as essential as a television and social media sometimes seems to have taken over many peoples lives. We are rapidly approaching an era when almost everything can be done via the internet and even government departments are beginning to assume that almost everybody can access the internet get information or fill out forms online. From our point of view here at gambling.ie, we are clearly more interested in how the internet has influenced our gambling habits rather than how we communicate with government departments, so let’s take a look at how online gambling has developed. In common with many of the major high street retailers, our big bookmakers were initially undecided whether their customers would embrace the idea of gambling online rather than visiting their high street betting shops, but one or two eventually decided to take the plunge. All our well-known bookmakers now operate online gambling sites which not only enable us to do our sports gambling online but also provide us with a huge range of gambling games to play. The first online gambling sites were all targeted towards sports gambling enthusiasts, and it quickly became apparent that online gambling sites were able to offer a much wider range of informed gambling opportunities than any betting shop could do. Our traditional sports gambling activities such as horse racing and football were suddenly available from all over the world and all year round, but the biggest change was probably in the range of other sports and sporting events we could now access online. The bookmakers who were operating these online sports gambling sites then started to investigate how they could further capitalise on their investment, and decided to try introducing some gambling games alongside the sports gambling options. It wasn’t long before all the major bookmakers offered a range of gambling games on their sites, and the concept of an online casino was born. The introduction of online casino gambling had another interesting effect on the online gambling sector, because many of the bookmakers chose different software companies to design and supply their gambling games leading to significant differences between the online gambling sites for the first time. When the online sports gambling sites were first set up by the leading bookmakers there was very little difference between them in terms of content and gambling options, but the addition of a range of gambling games from different suppliers suddenly gave us a reason to select which bookmaker’s site we would choose. There is still very little difference between the sports gambling options offered by the various bookmakers, but the range of casino gambling games, particularly the slots games does vary from site to site and online casino gambling fans will undoubtedly have their favourites and register accordingly.
Many of us however are still likely to select which bookmaker’s online gambling site we use based on brand awareness, and in that respect Paddy Power is probably the best known bookmaker in Ireland and therefore likely to be many people’s choice. Paddy Power are of course based in Ireland and probably have the largest number of betting shops on our high streets, but they have also been extremely effective in establishing their brand with many of their unusual and sometimes controversial marketing stunts. That is however not the only reason why many people in Ireland choose to register with Paddy Power for their online gambling. From the sports gambling point of view their quoted odds are usually very competitive, and they have often been known to pay out on potential winning bets even before the event has finished. Paddy Power also chose to use one of the smaller companies, Wagerworks as their casino software supplier so the range of slots games they offer differs from those offered by most of their rival bookmakers.
Irish sports gambling fans will of course also be well aware of the other major bookmaker with a substantial presence on our high streets, Ladbrokes. Ladbrokes also have an excellent online gambling site offering all the usual sports gambling options including the GAA sports, and of course a full range of gambling games. For gambling games enthusiasts Ladbrokes have an excellent online poker site plus an extremely popular 24 hour online bingo platform which enables players to play for both small and large stakes. In fact Ladbrokes probably offer the widest range of gambling options of any of the sites operated by our bookmakers, including most of the world’s lotteries.
Another bookmaker with a high street presence in Ireland, although much smaller is Betfred, which also has a good online gambling site with a wide range of gambling options. Another bookmaker who does not have a betting shop estate in Ireland, but is best known for their sports sponsorship is Bwin. Any true football fan will know the Bwin brand from their shirt sponsorship deals with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, but the Bwin online gambling site is worth a look in its own right. Last but not least, we could not review the online gambling sites operated by the major bookmakers without referring to the William Hill site. William Hill is one of the biggest bookmakers in the world and of course also operates a very good online gambling site offering all the usual sports gambling options and a wide range of gambling games supplied by the dominant online casino software company, Playtech. As we have already said there is very little difference between any of the sports gambling sites operated by the big bookmakers, and it is in the range of casino gambling games they offer that you will find the differences which may affect your choice of site.