In spite of the fact that gambling has been part of human history for thousands of years, the bookmakers never seem to be dish of the day. In fact in some circles they are the root of all evil and are to blame for almost everything unsavoury in this modern world. It is however all too easy to blame the bookmakers for creating an environment which allows problem gambling to exist, in the same way that some would argue that the pub trade is responsible for alcoholism. All of these criticisms ignore the fact that humans have always been susceptible to addictions in various forms and we are all often easily led astray. The gambling industry is actually very well regulated compared to many potentially addictive activities and most of the big bookmakers do all they can to avoid being accused of creating an environment which encourages a gambling addiction. For those of us who enjoy gambling as part of our normal leisure activities, the big bookmakers are however the main providers of the facilities we need to enjoy our hobby and avoid being taken for a ride. Fortunately the days when bookies runners were the only way to place a bet are long gone and we can now gamble in the knowledge that we are not going to be ripped off and robbed by criminal gangs. Many of the major bookmakers have become household names through their presence on our high streets, and their betting shops have also been transformed in recent years so that they offer a far more welcoming atmosphere than they used to. Since the introduction of online gambling however those big high street bookmakers have been joined by several new internet only bookmakers with no high street presence at all. These new bookmakers rely on establishing their brand awareness in other ways, most notably through sponsorship of popular sports and sporting events. Most of the first online sports gambling sites were actually introduced by the big high street bookmakers, but they have since been joined by a number of other companies all of whom offer a huge range of online gambling options covering almost every sport you can think of, plus an ever increasing selection of gambling games. The online sports gambling sites may have been the first internet gambling sites to become widely available, but the more recent casino gambling sites are certainly catching up in terms of popularity and playing gambling games online may even have become more popular than gambling on sports and sporting events. Not long ago it would have been almost inconceivable that any form of gambling in Ireland would become more popular than gambling on horse racing, but playing gambling games online may well done just that.
Most of our towns and cities here in Ireland still have several betting shops where we can bet on horse racing, greyhound racing or football, but they are reportedly suffering in the same way as many high street retailers competing with the rise of internet shopping. Nevertheless most of them remain at the forefront of the gambling industry and provide a safe and secure environment for us to enjoy our sports gambling and perhaps more controversially some casino gambling on the fixed odds betting terminals. In Ireland the most well-known bookmaker is of course Paddy Power, with over 200 betting shops and a very significant and popular online gambling site. The Paddy Power online sports gambling site covers a huge range of sports and sporting events from around the world, but also provides access to a full range of gambling games ranging from the traditional casino gambling games such as roulette and blackjack to hundreds of different slots gambling games. Very few online gambling sites offer more choice that the Paddy Power online gambling site. Paddy Power is of course not the only big bookmaker with a significant high street presence in Ireland. Ladbrokes and Betfred also operate a large number of betting shops across the country. Both of these bookmakers also offer online gambling options for their customers covering everything from major sporting events to a big choice of gambling games. Before the introduction of online gambling all the big bookmakers relied on their betting shops to provide their customers with the necessary gambling options, but the internet has totally changed that situation and created more competition. The high street bookmakers now have internet only rivals who have no interest in providing gambling options on the high street and concentrate solely on offering a full range of online gambling options. Bwin and 888 are just two of these new bookmakers now competing in the online gambling sector, and because they do not have the brand awareness which results from a high street presence they have had to use a different marketing strategy to become known. For both of these bookmakers that strategy has been based on sports sponsorship, particularly focussed on football. Football is of course the only fully globalised sport, so there is no better way to advertise your brand than sponsoring the shirts of some of the biggest football clubs in the world. Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are two of the biggest clubs in Europe and both play in shirts emblazoned with the Bwin logo. 888 also uses sports sponsorship to advertise their gambling options, but their online gambling site covers a huge range of other gambling opportunities with a massive array of different gambling games. There is very little in the way of gambling options you cannot find at the 888 online gambling sites. Less well known from the point of view of sports gambling is the Party Gaming organisation. They do not specifically describe themselves as a bookmaker, but they do cover the full spectrum of online gambling options in the same way as all their rivals. Their specific online casino gambling sites include Party Poker, Party Casino and Party Gammon, and their sports gambling options can be found on their Party Bets platform. Whether they refer to themselves as bookmakers or not they all offer excellent online gambling options in a safe and secure environment.