The internet has undoubtedly changed our lives in all sorts of ways. Many of us even have jobs which are dependent on the internet, but for most of us it is in our leisure time where we have seen the greatest effects. Many reports indicate that we are actually working longer hours than we were a few years ago, but the fact that we can now shop online, manage our finances and pay our bills online has meant that we can make better use of the leisure time we do have. Here again many of us take advantage of the internet to help us enjoy our leisure time even more. Those of us who enjoy gambling on sports and sporting events for instance can now do so from home if we wish. It really isn’t very long ago that sports gambling in Ireland was almost entirely dedicated to horse racing and to a lesser extent greyhound racing. Those of us who were unable to go to the tracks on a regular basis would almost certainly place our bets at a high street betting shop or use a telephone account if we did not have easy access to a betting shop. Nowadays of course all the big bookmakers operate online gambling sites covering a huge range of potential sports gambling options, to which they have also added hundreds of gambling games as well. These online gambling sites have become so popular that all the big bookmakers are reporting that online revenues are now overtaking revenues from their high street shops. We really shouldn’t be particularly surprised at that because the gambling options now provided at these internet sites far exceed anything we were offered at our high street betting shops, or indeed at our town centre casinos. The range of online sports gambling options and the huge number of casino gambling games make these online gambling sites much more attractive.
Gambling on horse racing is of course still a major sports gambling option in Ireland, and there is a significant horse racing industry based here, but the competition from other sports is increasing. After many years in the doldrums greyhound racing is regaining its appeal, mainly as a result of considerable new investment in the tracks and their hospitality facilities, but online gambling on greyhound racing is also increasing. Horse racing and greyhound racing are both sports where the excitement of being trackside will always appeal to sports gambling fans, and here at gambling.ie we’re very pleased to see greyhound racing in particular getting their act together and responding to the wishes of sports gambling fans in the 21st century.
Although there are now so many sports gambling options available online, there is no doubting which sport come next in terms of popularity among Irish sports gambling enthusiasts. Football is one of the few sports which is played all over the world, so gambling on football is also big business wherever you go. Online sports gambling sites all offer a huge range of football gambling opportunities almost every day of the year, so football gambling fans can always find a match to bet on. In fact football is one of those sports which does not necessarily rely on support in the country where the match is being played. Large numbers of Irish football gambling enthusiasts will follow the English Premier League, or the Spanish leagues as much as they follow the Irish leagues, and the same applies almost everywhere you go in the world. In fact gambling on football is probably by far the biggest sports gambling activity in the world. Even American sports fans are starting to take notice.
There are of course still sports which are primarily played in certain parts of the world, and Ireland is a typical example of that. All our GAA sports are predominantly played only in Ireland, and although they are often avidly followed by Irish emigrants all over the world they remain sports which are largely confined to our shores. Nevertheless our major bookmakers all offer a full range of gambling options associated with the GAA sports and that means that Irish expats also have the opportunity to bet on the GAA sports. American football and baseball are also sports which tend to be confined mostly to one particular part of the world, in this case America, but increased satellite television coverage is gradually spreading these games to other countries so gambling on these sports is also likely to increase as a result.
Another sport with limited worldwide appeal is rugby, and although there are many countries which do play rugby the major tournaments tend to involve only a few at the top level. Ireland is of course one of those countries where rugby is strong, and gambling on rugby particularly during the Six Nations tournament is also very popular. Cricket is another sport which tends to be confined to just a few countries in the world, but where it is strong such as in India and Pakistan gambling on cricket is absolutely huge. In fact gambling on cricket in this part of the world has sometimes caused considerable problems for the sport itself and corruption has been a problem. Those of us who are sports gambling fans can only hope that such situations remain rare and do not impair our enjoyment of sports gambling.
We have commented on the influence of our online sports gambling sites on how we enjoy our gambling and what sports we prefer to follow, but we should also recognise the effect that television has on our sports gambling activities. Clearly sports such as horse racing benefit hugely from regular television coverage, as do football and rugby, but there are sports which have become popular gambling sports almost entirely because of television. Snooker is a prime example of a sport which was not really a spectator sport at all before Pot Black hit our screens all those years ago, but is now followed all over the world and a very popular in-play gambling opportunity.