There is absolutely no doubt that access to the internet has changed how most of us manage our everyday lives. More and more of us are now managing our bank accounts online for instance, to such an extent in fact that the banks are actually closing branches because we do not use them anymore. Many supermarkets now have almost as many order pickers responding to internet shopping walking up and down the aisles as they do actual shoppers. The effects of our love of the internet on the retail sector can be seen on every high street in every town or city, with even the big chain stores often directing us towards checking their stock online. So far however we have not seen the same effects on the gambling sector in Ireland. Almost all our town centres have at least one prominent betting shop in spite of the increasing popularity of online gambling, although it has to be said that many of the major bookmakers claim that their betting shops only remain viable because of the controversial fixed odds games terminals they have installed. Another form of gambling which has so far survived the online gambling revolution is the casinos. Many people thought that when the leading bookmakers started to introduce some gambling games onto their online sports gambling sites that our casinos would suffer, but that certainly does not appear to be the case. In fact the number of people enjoying playing gambling games at a real casino seems to have increased over the last few years rather than decreased. Perhaps playing gambling games is still more enjoyable for many people when it is a social event in the company of other people rather than something done at home on our own. The revival of some of our bingo clubs may also point to the fact that online casino gambling has not totally taken over from the social gambling clubs. Everybody who enjoys playing gambling games will surely be pleased that online casino gambling has not closed the places where we can enjoy our gambling in the company of others if and when we choose to, but they will also be delighted at how quickly the range of gambling games they can play online has expanded. As we have already said online casino gambling as we know it today started when the major bookmakers were looking to get more return from their investment in their online sports gambling sites. Their solution was to introduce some gambling games onto their sites, and the idea proved so successful that many of these sites quickly became so big that they were offering their customers as many as two hundred different gambling games to choose from.
Since those early days of casino gambling online when all the online casino sites were operated by the leading bookmakers, we have seen a steady increase in the number of smaller specialist online casino gambling sites which have concentrated all their efforts on providing a diverse and exciting range of gambling games rather than attempting to cover the whole online gambling market. This development has greatly enhanced the range of gambling games we can now play online because these new sites have elected to use different casino software suppliers who in turn have provided different games. The main differences between all the online casino gambling sites will primarily be found in the range of slots games they offer on their sites, but we should not ignore the effect that online casino gambling has had on the availability of the traditional casino gambling games. Most casino gambling enthusiasts in Ireland had been limited to traditional gambling games such as roulette and blackjack in our real casinos, but the introduction of online casino gambling sites has provided them with a far bigger choice of traditional games. On the continent for instance almost every casino has always offered their customers the opportunity to play baccarat, and many have also offered backgammon. Neither of these traditional gambling games was commonly available in any of our casinos, but traditional casino games enthusiasts can now enjoy both of them at almost all the online casino gambling sites. The same also applies to that American favourite, the game of craps. It’s doubtful whether any casino in America does not have at least one craps table, yet this is another traditional gambling game which has only become available for us to play in Ireland since the introduction of casino gambling online.
When discussing the effects that the introduction of gambling games online has had on our gambling habits and on the range of games we can now play, we should not ignore another extremely popular traditional gambling game which we have already mentioned, and that is bingo. Not only is bingo available at almost every online casino gambling site, but most of them also offer a range of different numbers gambling games also based on the principles of bingo. Finally we need to comment on what has got to be the most significant effect of the rise in popularity of playing gambling games online, and that is the surge in interest in the game of poker. No discussion about the range of gambling games we can now play online would be complete without commenting on the massive resurgence of interest in gambling on poker. Poker is of course one of the older of the gambling games we now play, but it had fallen out of fashion over the years and become something of a niche activity. Nowadays however poker gambling is rapidly becoming a mainstream leisure activity, and Texas Hold’em in particular has become one of the most popular gambling games in the world. All the major poker tournaments are now fully subscribed and there are many specialist online poker forums which enable serious poker fans to play one another online. The game of poker is of course not restricted to serious players alone, all the online casino gambling sites also offer a range of different versions of poker which can be played for fixed odds against the house.