The current stories about whether the Russians did or did not attempt to influence the American elections by hacking into e mail accounts merely serve to remind us that all computers are vulnerable to such attempts to steal data. In spite of that however we still rely on them more and more to help us in our daily lives, whether it is shopping, banking or for our leisure activities. In fact it is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid using the internet as banks and utility companies pressurise us to go paperless. Even government departments are beginning to assume that everybody has access to the internet and encouraging us to communicate with them online. Most of us nowadays are aware of the dangers and take some precautions when we are online, but we all also rely very heavily on the security systems put in place by the internet site operators, particularly when it comes to financial transactions. Here at gambling.ie we are clearly particularly interested in how the internet has influenced our gambling habits, and there is no doubt at all that more and more of us are using online gambling sites rather than alternatives such as betting shops, slot machine arcades and even bingo clubs. The change in our gambling habits started when the leading bookmakers started to provide us with the option to do our sports gambling online rather than through their betting shops. Once again in spite of the known risks associated with doing financial transactions online, increasing numbers of sports gambling fans in Ireland and elsewhere started using online gambling sites. There were two obvious reasons why these online bookmakers’ sites proved so popular among sports gambling enthusiasts. The first is of course the convenience of being able to place your bets from your home computer, laptop, tablet or even your mobile phone rather than having to visit a betting shop. The second reason is even more interesting because it has had a significant effect on what sports we actually gamble on. The range of sports we can now follow through the internet sites operated by the leading bookmakers now covers a great many sports which used to be considered minor sports in terms of gambling interest. We no longer confine our gambling activities to horse racing, greyhound racing and football, we can follow almost any sport we choose. Online sports gambling has also almost totally negated the effect of sporting seasons, because football gambling fans for instance can follow games all over the world at any time of the year. Clearly the bookmakers who invested in setting up these online sports gambling sites were pleased with the response of their customers, but they were also looking other ways to maximise the returns from that investment. Their answer was to start introducing some gambling games on their sports gambling sites. Once again the idea proved successful and more and more games were added, until they became what we now refer to as online casinos. The introduction of these online gambling games opened up a whole new customer base for the bookmakers who were operating the sites, because they now had increasing numbers of casino gambling fans to please. In fact the success of the casino gambling sections of the sites operated by our leading bookmakers has encouraged some new specialist online casino operators to break into the market so that gambling games enthusiasts now have far more choice than ever before.
It is also the range of gambling games which distinguishes one online casino gambling site from the rest. All the online gambling sites operated by the leading bookmakers have a very similar range of sports gambling options, so the big difference between them is in the range of gambling games they offer in the casino gambling section of the site. This in turn is down to which casino software supplier they have chosen to use because it is the software suppliers who design the online slots games which form the majority of the gambling games on offer at almost every site. As far as online gambling fans in Ireland are concerned, the most popular online gambling site operated by one of the big bookmakers is almost certainly the Paddy Power site. Paddy Power still have a massive high street presence in Ireland so when they first set up their online sports gambling site they already had the biggest potential customer base. Paddy Power also decided not to use one of the dominant casino software suppliers at the time, and chose to use software supplied by Wagerworks. This meant that their range of gambling games, particularly slots games was different from those of their main rivals and therefore attracted casino games fans looking for more variety.
The other major bookmaker with a large high street presence in Ireland is of course Ladbrokes, and the Ladbrokes online gambling site is therefore also well supported across the country. Ladbrokes also have a very popular online poker forum for serious poker gambling fans, plus an equally popular 24 hour bingo platform which allows bingo fans to play for a wide range of stakes. Lottery fans are also well catered for on the Ladbrokes site, with lotteries from all over the world.
The rest of the online gambling sites available in Ireland and operated by the leading bookmakers are Betfred, Bwin, 888 and of course William Hill. Of these only Betfred have a significant number of betting shops on our high streets, but they all have good online gambling sites with a full range of sports gambling options plus of course an equally impressive number of gambling games for their customers to enjoy. William Hill are of course one of the biggest bookmakers in the world, and Bwin will also be familiar to European football fans through their shirt sponsorship with both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. These are all major companies and their online gambling sites have featured on our recommended list for a long time. They also all offer the type of online security we would expect from such major players in the online gambling sector.