There is no doubt that access to the internet has almost become an essential part of our day to day lives. A good number of us need that access to earn our living, but even if we do not need direct access to the internet during our working day it is quite likely that the company we work for is at least in part reliant on customer contact through the internet. Here at gambling.ie we are of course more interested in the influence of the internet on our leisure time, and in particular our online gambling activities. We should also point out however that all the big bookmakers now rely heavily on the income they generate from online gambling, so it is not just their customers who benefit from access to the internet. It is now several years since the big bookmakers first set up their online sports gambling sites and they have expanded steadily ever since with access to even more sports, but perhaps the most important development was the introduction of gambling games on these sites. At the time no one really knew whether their sports gambling customers would be interested in playing gambling games, nor whether they would be able to attract a different group of customers by offering online casino gambling as a leisure pursuit for us to try at home. In the event we now know that the idea of being able to play casino gambling games from the comfort of our own homes has proved a resounding success. The original casino gambling sections of the bookmakers’ online gambling sites have expanded rapidly, with most of them offering two hundred or more different gambling games. Most of these online gambling games are slots games with a variety of different themes, and this has led to a whole new allied business sector supplying the essential casino software to the online gambling site operators so that they can offer a good range of games. Over the last couple of years we have also seen further evidence of the success of online casino gambling, with the introduction of smaller specialist online casinos offering a selection of new gambling games supplied by different software companies.
We have to assume that many of the first visitors to the casino gambling sites were people who already had experience of playing gambling games at a real casino, in much the same way as most of the first online sports gambling customers were already betting shop regulars. If so they must have been staggered by the range of gambling games they could play. Most casinos in Ireland were only able to offer roulette and blackjack to their customers, with perhaps the occasional small poker tournament for their members, so the range of gambling games they could access at the online gambling sites even in the early days must have played a big part in their success. It was not all plain sailing of course, and for many of these early players gambling on roulette in particular raised some doubts over the fairness of these online gambling games. To their credit the online gambling site operators listened to those concerns and introduced the Live casino option specifically for the gambling game of roulette. This entailed setting up a studio with a real roulette wheel and table, and employing real dealers to manage the game which was then streamed to our screens. They quickly added blackjack to the gambling games they offered in the Live casino mode, and many have since included baccarat and a few versions of poker to the list. Baccarat in particular was an interesting choice, because there was little or no opportunity to play baccarat at any of the Irish casinos, and although most continental casinos did offer baccarat it was often in a side room and not on the main floor. This led to the perception that baccarat was a complicated gambling game played exclusively by high rollers. Since we have been able to play baccarat at an online casino however it has become obvious that nothing could be further from the truth. The rules are indeed complicated but the whole game is controlled by the dealer and the player does not even need to know them. All the player needs to do is choose one of three possible outcomes, namely the dealer’s hand wins, the player’s hand wins or the rare event of a tie. Playing baccarat online really is that simple.
When discussing who may have been the first customers of the online casino gambling sites, we should not ignore the bingo fans. The game of bingo has always been popular in Ireland and although the bingo clubs suffered from the introduction of the smoking ban, there are clearly large numbers of people who still enjoy the game. Bingo and the other similar numbers games such as Keno are in fact still among the most popular gambling games online. Keno is a good example of an interesting gambling game which has only become available because of the online casino gambling sites. The interesting aspect of Keno is that the player can choose the degree of risk and potential reward. At the All Irish casino for instance each Keno player selects up to fifteen numbers from 1 to 80, hoping to match as many as possible with fifteen numbers selected by the site RNG. To increase the pay-out per number matched, the plyer simply selects less than fifteen numbers.
Other types of gambling game which have proved popular at the online casino gambling sites include a variety of dice games, and in particular another traditional gambling game which has rarely if ever been available at our real casinos, namely craps. There are many other dice games but craps is probably the favourite among fans of gambling with dice. Finally we come to the gambling game which has benefitted most from the introduction of online casino gambling, and that is poker. There are now specialist poker forums where poker fans can play against each other, and every online casino gambling site has a range of poker games which can be played against the house.