As access to the internet has become easier and much more widespread, we have seen a corresponding expansion in the activities we are able carry out online. Many of us now do much of our shopping online, book holidays, theatre seats and even manage our bank accounts online. The internet has therefore become an extremely important part of our everyday lives. As far as we are concerned here at gambling.ie it is the part the internet plays in our leisure activities that interests us most, particularly our gambling activities. Online gambling was first introduced by the big bookmakers to allow their sports gambling customers to place their bets without needing to visit their local betting shop. Even in the early days of online gambling that meant that there was already competition between the big bookmakers for our custom. Sports gambling fans also suddenly had access to far more sports than were ever promoted in our betting shops and were able to gamble on sporting events from across the globe. There were no longer sporting seasons as such because almost every sport was being played somewhere in the world all year round, and sports gambling fans could follow their favourite sports through any of the online sports gambling sites. There are two important aspects of any internet site dealing directly with the public. First and most important is the security of our personal financial data. The online gambling software needs to be sufficiently robust to ensure that none of our personal details held by the site operator are at risk. Only when you are sure of that aspect of an online gambling site do you then start to assess what each site has to offer. When the online gambling sites were first introduced there was actually very little difference between one site and another, which was probably one of the reasons why the bookmakers operating the sports gambling sites started to introduce some casino gambling games alongside their sports gambling options. It has to be said that the sports gambling options we can access at the online gambling sites operated by the big bookmakers are still very similar, but they have all now added a huge range of gambling games and it is here where the differences between each site can be found. Clearly there is a lot to be said for being able to gamble on your favourite sporting events and play gambling games on the same site, but we would recommend anyone looking for a wider choice of gambling games to register with more than one of the online gambling sites on our recommended list.
It is fair to say that the two best known bookmakers in Ireland are Ladbrokes and Paddy Power. These two bookmakers have a huge high street presence all over Ireland, and that almost certainly means that they are the two most likely online gambling sites that new customers are likely to choose. They also both offer their customers the option to manage their online gambling accounts using cash at any of their betting shops, a facility which has many advantages in terms of financial security. Paddy Power are of course the only one of the major bookmakers actually based in Ireland, which in itself gives them something of an advantage in the eyes of Irish sports gambling enthusiasts, but they have also established something of a reputation for unusual marketing stunts to raise their brand awareness, not all of which it has to be said are universally popular. Where Paddy Power does win praise however is in the area of customer service, and they are regularly praised for their willingness to pay out on winning bets, sometimes even before the event is finished. Both Paddy Power and Ladbrokes offer a comprehensive range of sports and sporting events, including the GAA sports, and of course both now also offer a full range of casino gambling games on the same site. Most of the gambling games offered by Paddy Power are supplied by the online casino software supplier Wagerworks. By using one of the smaller software suppliers Paddy Power can offer a number of gambling games which cannot be found anywhere else, an important consideration for fans of the slots games which make up most of the range of gambling games on almost every online gambling site. The gambling games offered on the Ladbrokes site are currently being upgraded since their agreement with the dominant software supplier Playtech, but they do also offer an excellent poker site and a twenty four hour bingo option both of which are generally praised by fans of these two gambling games.
Of the other online gambling sites operated by the big bookmakers and featured on our recommended list only Betfred has a significant high street presence in Ireland. The sports gambling element of the Betfred site is as comprehensive as most and most of their casino gambling games are also supplied by Playtech.
Although all the other online gambling sites on our list are operated by bookmakers without a high street betting shop in Ireland, they are still major companies within the gambling industry and their online sports gambling facilities and their gambling games are still worth a look. Bet365 for instance is the only one of the major bookmakers in Ireland and the UK which is still a private family owned business. They have a number of sponsorship deals with sports teams and sporting events, and are particularly popular with Irish greyhound racing fans and GAA sports enthusiasts.
Another bookmaker which tends to rely on sponsorship to promote their brand is Bwin. Football fans will be very aware that Bwin are shirt sponsors for both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, two of the most successful teams in European football. The Bwin online casino has become particularly popular because of their low stakes poker tables and the fact that they also feature games such as Mahjong and Yatzy.
Although not necessarily considered to be a bookmaker as such Party Gaming are an important player in the online gambling sector, with Party Poker now the biggest online poker forum. The Party casino site offers a full range of gambling games and also enables access to Party Bets which is their comprehensive sports gambling site.