There are of course a number of different opinions as to the effect online gambling has had on both the number of people regularly gambling as a leisure activity, and on what we are actually gambling on. Clearly here in Ireland we have been gambling on horse racing for a very long time, but what effect has the introduction of online sports gambling sites had on our sports gambling activities. When the leading bookmakers decided to enable their customers to place their bets online rather than through their local betting shops, it was undoubtedly well received by most sports gambling fans and almost certainly led to an increase in the number of people having a casual bet if only because of the convenience of being able to place a bet from home. The online sports gambling sites also offered a much wider choice of sports and sporting events than were usually featured in the betting shops, which in turn must have attracted a number of new customers who were perhaps never great fans of horse racing but enjoyed football, snooker or golf. Many observers believe however that it was the addition of gambling games to those first online sports gambling sites which created the biggest increase in the number of people regularly gambling. There is no doubt that when the big bookmakers operating those first online gambling sites decided to add a few gambling games to their sports gambling sites, they opened up online gambling to a much wider audience. The idea of playing gambling games was certainly not new, and traditional casino gambling games such as roulette and blackjack have been popular in our casinos for many years. Similarly our bingo clubs have a strong following here in Ireland, and although they suffered a little in the early days of the smoking ban they have made a good recovery over the last couple of years. In view of the fact that these gambling games already had a large number of fans it was hardly surprising that the introduction of what we now refer to as online casino gambling proved to be a successful move on the part of the bookmakers. Nowadays of course those first online gambling sites which featured both sports gambling and casino gambling on the same site have been joined by a number of smaller specialised online casino gambling sites which concentrate solely on the range of gambling games they offer rather than try to cover all forms of gambling. All of these casino gambling sites have one thing in common however, and that is the huge range of slots games they offer on their sites. The vast majority of the gambling games featured on almost every online casino gambling site are slots games in a variety of forms, and unsurprisingly they are generally the most popular gambling games online. Along with many other observers of the online gambling sector, we here at gambling.ie are convinced that it is the slots games which have led to increasing number of people playing gambling games. Clearly the regular visitor to a real casino will probably still play the traditional casino gambling games, particularly now that they also have access to gambling games such as craps and baccarat which were never available in our own casinos. Similarly bingo fans are also likely to choose to play their favourite game now it is available online, but how many of us have never enjoyed playing a slot machine at some time in our lives. Whether you are of an age who remember playing the simple slot machines in an arcade at the seaside, or only played in your local pub or club, slot machines have been part of our lives for a very long time.
There is one major exception to the theory that the slots games have become the leading feature of online casino gambling, and that is the huge resurgence in interest in the game of poker. Unlike the traditional casino gambling games we have mentioned and of course bingo, the number of people in Ireland regularly playing poker had fallen dramatically over the years so that poker had almost become a game only played among friends on their poker night. The introduction of online casino gambling however has led to poker regaining its popularity with a whole new group of enthusiasts regularly playing online. There are even online poker forums so that these serious poker players can compete with each other almost 24 hour a day. Poker has become such a popular gambling games that even the big international poker tournaments which used to be the preserve of a few professional poker players are now over-subscribed, with many needing to run qualifying tournaments for a seat at the main event.
Apart from the huge range of gambling games we can now play online, the online casino gambling sites have also been able to exploit the much lower overheads they have compared to their land based rivals. Online gambling sites do not need many people to operate their gambling games, nor do they need to finance a high street premises, so they can afford to allow their customers to play their casino gambling games for much lower stakes than their rivals. This is undoubtedly another very important factor in the success of online casino gambling. Most gambling games featured on the online casino gambling sites can be played for very small stakes, so that players can have a great deal of fun at very little cost if they choose to do so. Conversely most of the gambling games can also be played for quite high stakes, including some of the slots games. The online casino gambling sites have also recognised that rolling jackpots even local cooperative jackpots were a popular feature of most bingo clubs, so every online casino gambling site now features a whole range of slots games with rolling jackpots, some of which can reach very high rewards indeed. The idea of playing gambling games online was never likely to fail.