With the notable exceptions of both casinos and bingo clubs, the gambling scene has always been dominated by the big bookmakers, and although there are now several new specialist online casino gambling sites the large bookmakers still dominate the market including the online gambling sector. It was of course the leading bookmakers who actually decided to invest in the technology and software to set up the first online gambling sites, so perhaps we should not be surprised that their customers have tended to remain loyal. Before they were offered the opportunity to do their gambling online, most sports gambling fans placed their bets at one of the high street betting shops operated by the major bookmakers, so naturally when those bookmakers introduced online sports gambling they tended to stick with the same company, and many probably still continue to gamble with the same bookmaker. The success of online gambling has however encouraged other now quite large bookmakers to compete in the online gambling market even though they have never even owned any betting shops and in most cases still don’t. Clearly because online gambling was started by the big high street bookmakers, sports gambling was the first online gambling activity to be introduced. Nowadays of course the biggest area of growth in online gambling is in the online casino gambling sector, and this is also where the big bookmakers face their biggest competition from operators other than other bookmakers. Once again of course we have to give credit to the big bookmakers for actually beginning the online casino gambling sector when they began to add a few gambling games to their online sports gambling sites, and for many years they remained the dominant force in this online casino gambling. It is only relatively recently that alternative online casino gambling sites have become available operated by companies with no interest in sports gambling at all. When it comes to sports gambling there is very little difference between the odds offered by the different high street bookmakers, nor indeed is there much difference between the odds offered on the major online sports gambling sites. All the big online sports gambling sites also offer the same huge range of sports and sporting events as their rivals, so the most obvious difference between one online gambling site and their rivals now lies primarily in the range of online gambling games they feature. This in turn makes the bookmakers’ choice of software supplier a major factor in the success of their online gambling operation. The majority of online gambling games are slots games in various forms, and all of these games have been designed and supplied by specialist online casino software companies, many of which have grown bigger than the bookmakers they supply. It is also why specialist casino gambling sites have become viable competitors, but for the purpose of this article we will simply examine what is offered on the online gambling sites operated by big bookmakers. Here at gambling.ie we therefore have to start with the Paddy Power online gambling site. Paddy Power still manages over two hundred betting shops in Ireland which clearly ensures that the Paddy Power brand is very well known, but they have also established a reputation for unusual and sometimes risky advertising as well as often very quirky bets. Their range of gambling games mostly supplied by the software company Wagerworks is excellent, and the Paddy Power online gambling site remains one of the most popular in Ireland.
The other big bookmaker with an extensive estate of betting shops in Ireland is of course Ladbrokes, one of the oldest bookmakers with a history dating back to the late 19th century. Ladbrokes have had their ups and downs in the online gambling sector over the years, but they now appear to have got their act together and now feature an excellent range of online gambling games as well as a specialist online poker platform and a 24 hour online bingo site. Betfred also have a relatively small number of betting shops in Ireland, but their online gambling site is definitely competitive in both sports gambling and casino gambling. Established as late as 1997 by two brothers with just one betting shop, Betfred has grown into a major force within both the high street sports gambling sector and the whole spectrum of online gambling. Again the Betfred casino gambling site features a superb range of gambling games ranging from the traditional casino games of roulette and blackjack to hundreds of different 3 and 5 reel slots. There are also several variations of bingo and access to national lotteries from all over the world. Most of the other bookmakers we now associate with online gambling do not have a high street presence but have been successful by concentrating solely on the online gambling sector. Bwin for instance has become well known not through a high street presence but through sports sponsorship such as their shirt deals with two of the major European football clubs, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. Clearly that has proved a very successful marketing strategy for Bwin with their online sports gambling site in particular very popular with sports gambling fans. The Bwin casino gambling site is also well worth a look, particularly their range of poker platforms for beginners. They also feature several of the more skilful gambling games such as backgammon and Mahjong. We can’t really discuss the specialist online bookmakers without mentioning one of the most popular of all, Party Gaming. Again established as recently as 1997, Party Gaming is probably most famous for the Party Poker brand, which has become one of the largest and most popular online poker platforms in the world and is now also available in many different languages. Most of the other excellent gambling games offered by Party Gaming can be found on their Party casino site, including slots games featuring Marvel comic characters and several other slots games with significant progressive jackpots. Sports gambling fans are also well catered for on the Party Bets platform, giving Party Gaming the full range of online gambling options.