Once again the British newspapers are full of discussion regarding the advantages that huge online retailers such as Amazon have over their high street competitors. This time it is the perceived unfairness in the revaluation of business rates which is causing the problem, but there have been many other different situations over the last few years both in the UK and here in Ireland where big internet companies seem to have benefitted from government policies. There is however one basic fact about any internet business, and that is that their overheads will always be less than businesses which need bricks and mortar to operate. No amount of government legislation good or bad will change that fundamental advantage that online companies have over their more traditional rivals. There is no doubt that the rise in online companies offering goods and services has changed our high streets, but the move towards internet trading has undoubtedly been good for the customer in many sectors, and that is certainly true for customers of the online gambling companies. When the leading bookmakers decided to invest in the technology to enable them to offer online sports gambling to their customers, the most obvious change was in the range of sports gambling options they could offer. Most of us who did our sports gambling through a local betting shop probably followed horse racing, greyhound racing or football because these were the sports for which the odds were posted at the betting shop. Nowadays if you log on to any online sports gambling site you will find a huge range of sports and sporting events with quoted odds, and they are not even restricted to sporting events in the northern hemisphere. There are no longer seasons when our sports gambling options are limited, we can follow our favourite sports all year round. It is also not just sports gambling which has benefitted from being available online. When the operators of the online sports gambling sites started to introduce a few gambling games onto their sites, they created a whole new online gambling sector which we now call online casino gambling. There were of course many people in Ireland who already enjoyed playing gambling games such as bingo and the traditional casino games found at our real casinos, but these online gambling sites started to rapidly increase the number of gambling games we could play so that once again we now have far more gambling options than ever before. Many of these online gambling sites operated by the leading bookmakers now offer as many as two hundred different gambling games on their sites, which is clearly far more than any real casino in Ireland could offer. The success of online casino gambling has also led to the introduction of many new specialist online casino gambling sites over the last few years, increasing our options even further.
Although the vast majority of the gambling games we can now play online are slots games in different forms, fans of the more traditional casino games have also seen an increase in their gambling options online. They are no longer restricted to roulette and blackjack, which were the only casino gambling games commonly available in our real casinos, they now have access to a wide range of traditional casino games only previously available in other parts of the world. A typical example of this would be the casino game of baccarat. Baccarat is commonly available in almost every casino on the continent but Irish casino games fans rarely if ever had the chance to play it. That also meant that we were unlikely to argue with the common perception that baccarat was a complicated game played only by high rollers with big budgets. Since baccarat has been available online however we can see that anyone can enjoy it and it requires no experience at all when played online. The rules of baccarat are a little complicated but the player does not actually need to know them because the game is controlled by the dealer. The player simply has to decide between three possible outcomes of each hand, namely the player’s hand wins, the dealer’s hand wins or there is occasionally a tie. Have a go it really is that easy. Another popular casino gambling game now available to us online is craps. Every casino in America has at least one craps table, but once again the game was not available here in Ireland. Anyone who enjoys playing roulette because of the multiple betting options associated with each spin of the wheel will undoubtedly also enjoy playing craps. Instead of a roulette wheel craps is played with two dice and players gamble on the possible outcomes of each throw by placing bets on a table which is very similar to a roulette table. Both of these traditional casino gambling games are now available for us to play because of the introduction of online casino gambling.
When discussing traditional gambling games which have increased in popularity in Ireland as a result of the introduction of online gambling, we have to deal with the game of poker. Although poker is clearly not a new gambling game, it had definitely become considerably less popular over the years since its heyday as depicted in the westerns we watched at our cinemas. The introduction of online casino gambling has however led to an extraordinary surge in interest in poker gambling in Ireland and elsewhere. There are online poker platforms which enable poker fans to play against each other and almost every poker tournament in the world is now oversubscribed as more and more players want to play. Texas Hold’em poker in particular has become the dominant poker format, but almost every online casino gambling site offers a range of different poker gambling games which can be played against the house for fixed odds.
It would be almost impossible to discuss every gambling game which we can now play online, even if we ignore the enormous number of slots games, but there is no doubt that playing gambling games online is increasingly popular.