Once again our newspaper headlines are filled with critical stories about the big internet companies and how they make their money. This time it is Facebook under scrutiny for their somewhat careless attitude to the security of our personal data, which in turn is being blamed for the alleged potential manipulation of some election results around the world. The stark truth is however that although some people will stop using Facebook and some advertisers may also temporarily pull their support for the company, most of us will continue to use these online social media sites because they have become part of our lives. There is no going back when it comes to the growing influence of the internet on almost everything we do. We have recently seen a great deal of adverse publicity for the big bookmakers and the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals they have all installed in their high street betting shops, but that is very unlikely to stop us using their online sports gambling sites or stop us playing our favourite gambling games online. There are risks in terms of data security in almost anything we do online, but unlike organisations such as Facebook online bookmakers and online retailers make their money selling a product to their customers rather than selling their users’ likes and dislikes to advertisers. Here at gambling.ie we have no doubt whatsoever that online gambling is here to stay, and will continue to grow in popularity particularly the online casino gambling sector. When the leading bookmakers decided to expand their successful online sports gambling sites by adding some gambling games, they attracted a whole new group of gambling enthusiasts to the idea of gambling online. Playing gambling games was not a new leisure activity of course, and our land based casinos and bingo clubs were all well supported with a strong membership, but online casino gambling sites have a huge advantage over any casino because they have no space limitations to contend with and can easily feature as many gambling games as they like, whereas almost all the casinos are Ireland are very limited in what casino gambling games they can accommodate. Even the bingo clubs now face tough competition from the online casino gambling sites, because they are not only able to offer a whole new range of different numbers games they can also enable their customers to play for very much smaller stakes. This ability to reduce minimum stakes is also a major advantage for the online casino gambling sites in their competition with land based casinos because any company with a building and the need to employ people will have higher overheads than operating an internet site. There is no doubt that the introduction of online sports gambling sites has seriously affected the viability of high street betting shops, but happily our land based casinos and our bingo clubs appear to survived the introduction of gambling games online and have retained a strong customer base. The important difference between a bingo club or a casino and a betting shop is of course primarily the atmosphere they are able to create. In the same way that gambling on horse racing is usually far more exciting when you are there at trackside, playing bingo or gambling on a traditional casino gambling game like roulette is far more enjoyable in the company of other gambling enthusiasts than it is playing on your own. The online casino gambling sites have made great strides in developing their live casino options to help redress the loss of atmosphere associated with online gambling, but we are not sure they will ever be able to compete with the real thing.
The introduction of gambling games to the online sports gambling sites operated by the big bookmakers proved so successful that we now have several new online casino gambling sites to enjoy. Our first list of recommended casino gambling sites was dominated by the leading bookmakers, but our current list now includes a number of specialist online casinos dedicated solely to providing an exciting range of gambling games rather than attempting to cover every gambling option. The arrival of these specialist sites has dramatically increased the range of gambling games we can now play online because they are using a number of different casino software suppliers. Almost every online casino gambling site features a full range of traditional casino gambling games of course, but it is in the range of slots games where the influence of these new casino software suppliers is most noticeable. The traditional casino gambling games needed good computer graphics so that they could be played online, but they clearly did not require any design input from the software developers. Every slots gambling game featured on our online casino gambling sites is however solely the product of the imagination of the software designers, so the choice of which casino software supplier to employ is probably the most important decision a site operator can make. Although fans of traditional casino gambling games now have a much bigger choice than ever before, it is undoubtedly the vast range of slots gambling games which has driven the success of the online casino gambling sites across a wider range of people. Most people now playing traditional casino gambling games online were probably already fans of games such as roulette and blackjack which were available in all of our land based casinos, and although they are now enjoying access to other traditional casino games such as baccarat, backgammon and even craps these games are unlikely to have attracted as many new players as the slots games have done. The only possible exception is the game of poker. There is absolutely no doubt that the introduction of gambling games online has driven a huge surge in the popularity of the game of poker, to such an extent that almost every poker tournament is now oversubscribed and there are even specialist online poker platforms which enable poker fans to compete with each other all over the world.