Gambling in Ireland
Sports Legal since 2015
Daily Fantasy Legal since 2015
Casino Legal since 2015
Poker Legal since 2015
Lottery Legal since 1987

Guide to Online Gambling in Ireland: The Irish Gambling Sites for 2019

Best Online Gambling Sites in Ireland

Online gambling in Ireland has been officially legal since the passing of the Betting (Amendment) Act in 2015. Since the remote gambling industry is currently opened for both offshore and Irish operators, many gambling companies have taken the opportunity to enter the Irish gambling market. Nevertheless, not all operators are able to offer the best gambling conditions for their customers. In order to rank high on our list, a gambling site must offer high security, a wide variety of games and many generous promotions. Based on our latest rankings, here are the best gambling sites in Ireland for 2019:

  • Secure
  • Trusted
  • Verified
Last updated: October 06, 2019
Welcome Bonus Pros and Cons Test Score Trusted Link
€200 Exclusive Games Payment Options Few Mobile Games 4.9/5 www.888casino.com
€400 Top Mobile Platform Gaming Software No Download Platform 4.8/5 www.leovegas.com
€1600 Rich Game Selection Excellent Live Games No PayPal Payments 4.6/5 www.jackpotcitycasino.com
€5000 Many Software Providers Rich Game Selection Does Not Accept PayPal 4.2/5 www.casimba.com
£250 Wide Variety of Games Many Promotions High Wagering 4.0/5 www.betway.com
Why You Can Trust online-gambling.com
  • We have a deep understanding of the Irish gambling laws and follow the activity of Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Justice and Equality
  • We keep our readers updated to the latest news and trends in the industry. We follow the local online media such as The Irish Times and Independent.ie.
  • We have extensive experience in creating free gambling guides and operator reviews. Some or most popular articles are about the best online slot games and the best online blackjack.

Types of Gambling in Ireland

Gambling has always been a popular past time in Ireland, especially on the internet, but the industry has only been able to flourish economically since the implementation of the Betting (Amendment) Act 2015. Currently, the residents of the country can legally enjoy online casinos, sports betting, daily fantasy, lotteries and online poker. Additionally, Ireland offers plenty of well-established land-based gambling ventures. Eager to find out more? In the following paragraphs, you will find information on all forms of online gambling as well as our recommendations for the best gambling sites in Ireland.

Online Casino Gaming in Ireland

As we mentioned above, online casinos have been officially legalised in Ireland since 2015. Many operators have taken the initiative to enter the Irish gambling market since then. Currently, Irish players have the option to choose among a wide variety of online casinos and have a rich selection of casino games. Most, if not all, online gambling sites in Ireland have a dedicated casino section nowadays. Nevertheless, some operators offer better conditions than others. Undoubtedly, one of the essential details for an enjoyable gambling experience is to find an online casino that offers a generous welcome bonus. As we mentioned in the overview of our ranking of the best gambling sites, our main goal is to review such platforms. To help you make the best choice, we have tested and ranked all Irish operators and have selected >the best online casino in Ireland:

Top Casino Offer By
Casimba
200% up to €5000 + 50 Free Spins

Sports Betting

The land-based sports betting was officially legalised in Ireland with the implementation of the Gambling Control Bill in 2015, which came to replace the Betting Act of 1931 and the Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1956. Currently, there are over 1,000 betting shops throughout the country. Nevertheless, the sports betting in Ireland became even more popular when its online version became legal in 2015. Nowadays there is a long list of online Irish and international bookmakers operating in the country. While most of them offer similar leagues and betting options, some sites rely on a better platform and lucrative welcome offers. Wondering where to make your bet? Check out our top sports betting offer below:

Top Sports Betting Offer By
UniBet
Bet £20 Get £40 In Free Bets & Bonuses

Daily Fantasy

Daily Fantasy Sports are among the most popular and beloved internet games of skill in Ireland. The country has rich sporting traditions and natural market, in which daily fantasy sites can operate. The Gambling Control Bill 2015 gave local and offshore Daily Fantasy sites the right to operate legally in Ireland as long as they have received a licence from the corresponding authorities. Many companies have benefited from the opportunity and currently, there are various Daily Fantasy sites legally operating in Ireland. Nevertheless, in order to choose the best Daily Fantasy operator for you, you must become aware of its security standards, leagues and promotions. To save you some time, we have tested and investigated all Daily Fantasy sites in Ireland and have selected the top Daily Fantasy offer for you:

Top Daily Fantasy Offer By
DraftKings
$3 Bonus With Your First Deposit

Online Poker

For years, poker has been among the most beloved card games in Ireland. It has been particularly popular in land-based casinos and the growing interest in the game has made the launch of poker sites in 2015 exceptionally well-received by Irish players. Currently, there are many licensed Irish gambling sites offering poker room to the eager local residents. However, in order to have the best gaming experience, you must seek an operator that offers a wide variety of poker games and rooms, generous promotions and high-security standards. To help you select the best operator, we have scoured the web for reliable and renowned poker sites and would like to recommend you the poker site that ranked highest according to our criteria:

Top Poker Offer By:
888poker
No Deposit Needed $88 Free

Lottery

Along with bingo, lottery is considered one of the most accessible games of chance in Ireland. The Irish National Lottery was officially launched on March 23, 1987, when it sold its first scratchcard. Nowadays, the Irish National Lottery offers a wide variety of games and is one of the most popular lotteries in Europe. Currently, players can also participate in their favourite lotto draw online since the National Lottery has launched its fully functional online version. Nevertheless, the players’ need to try their luck in more international lotteries has led to the legal launch of alternative licensed lottery sites in Ireland. Many of them offer participation in some of the most popular lottery games in the world, including EuroJackpot and MegaMillions. To ease your choice of operator, we have listed the top lottery offer in Ireland below:

Top Lottery Offer By
The Lotter
Sign Up Offer 15% and 10% Discount on EuroMillions and Lotto649

Online Gambling Guide for Irish Players

We have already established that all forms of online gambling are currently legal in Ireland and have recommended you some of the top gambling sites to play at. Nevertheless, there are certain details that you must be aware of prior to opening an account at any gambling site. Your security should always be your top priority. That is why you should always check whether your chosen operator holds a licence by an official authority. You would normally find this information stated at the footer of the operator’s homepage.

Shall you wish to have a pleasant gaming experience, you should also check whether the gambling site offers a sufficient variety of games. Additionally, you should make sure that your chosen operator offers generous promotions and decent payouts. Furthermore, a good gambling site would always accept various payment methods and would have a functional online and mobile platform. Struggling with the information? To ease your gambling site selection, in the following paragraphs we have listed and explained all the details that you must be aware of prior to depositing to any gambling site.

Gambling Licence & Safety in Ireland

Your safety and the privacy of your personal and banking details must always be your priority when choosing a gambling site. Each trustworthy operator would have a licence number issued by an accredited institution such as the Revenue Commissioners, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission and the the Department of Justice and Equality among others. Additionally, each gambling site must hold an SSL certificate as a guarantee that your private data would not fall into the wrong hands. You would usually find each operator’s safety details listed at the footer of its homepage. Besides the aforementioned institutions, there are various important safety symbols that we keep track of when making a review. For your convenience, we have listed them below:

Gambling Safety Symbols:
eCOGRA eCogra is a British internationally approved testing agency, specialised in the certification of online gaming software. The presence of its logo in a gambling site guarantees that you will receive fair gaming, protection and responsible operator conduct.
GBGA The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association represents nearly all Gibraltar-based operators. It aims to give governments a better understanding of the Gibraltar gaming industry, in order to create transparent, competitive and safe market for all customers.
ESSA ESSA or European Sports Security Association is a non-profit organisation representing the interests of many of the largest betting operators in the world. ESSA’s main goal is to protect its customers, members and partners.
Revenue Commissioners The Revenue Commissioners, usually referred to simply as Revenue, is the official Irish Government Agency responsible for the regulation, taxation and licensing of the gambling operators across the country.
IBAS The Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) is an Alternative Dispute Resolution service, approved by the Gambling Commission (UK). It main function is to provide formal and impartial judgement on disputes that arise between licensed gambling operators and their customers.
EGBA The European Gaming and Betting Association represents the leading online gaming and betting operators established, licensed and regulated within the borders of the European Union. The asosciation promotoes the creation of a safe and reliable European digital gambling environment.
UKGC The United Kingdom Gambling Commission, often referred to as UKGC, licenses and regulates all local and international gambling operators established in Great Britain. The agency is also responsible for regulating the lottery.

How to Spot a Great Product: Games and Bets

Once you have found a secure operator, you must also make sure that you would have enjoyable gaming experience. To achieve that, you would have to find out whether your chosen online casino offers a wide variety of games from different software providers. If you are interested in sports betting, you must also check whether your chosen online booker offers a reasonable selection of betting markets. Planning to play on the go? Investigate whether your selected gambling site offers a mobile-friendly platform. We realise that finding the best operator might be a difficult and time-consuming task. To ease your choice, we have selected the best gambling operators in Ireland:

Gambling Type Min Product Requirements Best Gambling Operator Why It’s the Best?
Sports Betting Top Mobile Platform Renowned Operator Competitive Odds UniBet Various of Markets High Football Odds Safe Service
Online Casino Rich Game Selection Mobile-Friendly App Generous Bonuses Casimba Good Welcome Bonus Many Games Easy Navigation
Daily Fantasy Many Tournaments Mobile-Friendly App Customer-Friendly Interface DraftKings A Leading Operator Various Game Types Regular Promotions
Online Poker Rich Game Selection Lots of Tournaments Many Poker Rooms 888poker Excellent Software No Deposit Bonus Many Payment Options
Online Lotto International Lottos Easy Navigation Licensed Operator The Lotter International Lotteries Authorised Operator Multiple Entries

Best Gambling Bonuses in Ireland

Whether you are a high or a low roller, counting with a generous welcome bonus is important to every player. Most operators would offer a special welcome promotion for their new customers but unfortunately, not all of them are able to provide you with the best conditions. While the bonus amount is essential, especially if you are planning on making a significant deposit, you must always check whether the corresponding wagering conditions are convenient for you. You would often find that generous bonuses are tied to wagering requirements that are almost impossible to complete. We recommend you to always read each bonus’ corresponding terms and conditions in order to avoid misunderstandings. Meanwhile, to save your efforts, we have prepared a list with the best bonus offers in Ireland:

Gambling Type Best Bonus Offer Bonus Terms Offered By:
Sports Betting €30 Money Back on Your First Bet If you lose on your first bet, up to €30 of your deposit shall be returned to your as bonus money. UniBet
Online Casino 200% up to €5000 + 50 Free Spins Minimum deposit €20. The bonus is subject to 35x wagering conditions. Casimba
Daily Fantasy $3 Bonus On Your First Deposit Available to new players only. $3 deposit as bonus money. DraftKings
Online Poker No Deposit Needed Get $88 Free Available to new players only, 18+. 14 days to claim bonus. Bonus includes $1 real money, $7 tournament tickets and $80 pending bonus remitted in $8 increments each time a player collects 250 bonus points from playing poker. 888poker
Online Lotto 15% and 10% Off on Two Lotteries Special discount on one-time entries only. The Lotter

Gambling Sites with the Best Payouts

Being able to calculate your chances to win has always been one of the keys to successful gambling. To do so, however, you must obtain certain information such as the corresponding gambling site’s payout track record and your selected game’s RTP. Generally, most operators would offer similar payout percentages. Nevertheless, some have proven to have better payout track record than others. Wondering which are the gambling sites with the best payout records in Ireland? Look no further as we have listed some of the most successful irish gambling sites, their corresponding payout percentages and the games with the highest RTP:

Gambling Site Type Operator Name Payout Verified by: Best Payout Game:
Best Payout Casino Casimba 97.3% MGA Blood Suckers
Best Payout Betting Site UniBet 93%-97% eCogra Football Betting
Best Payout Daily Fantasy Site DraftKings 91%-96% MGA Fantasy Soccer
Best Payout Poker Site 888poker 92%-99% MGA Texas Hold’Em
Best Payout Lotto Site The Lotter 50%-70% MGA Australia Powerball

Accepted Payment Methods

Irish gamblers would not have issues with their deposits and withdrawals as most gambling sites in Ireland accept a long list of payment methods. Nevertheless, whenever deciding on which payment method to use, players must always pick the safest option. Currently, the e-wallets are among the safest and fastest payment methods. Bear in mind, however, that occasionally deposits made through Skrill or Neteller might not qualify for a welcome bonus. Alternatively, many gamblers prefer to make their payments using their credit or debit card. Wondering what your other options are? In the list below, you will find information on all payment methods accepted by the gambling sites in Ireland:

  1. e-Wallets:
    1. PayPal
    2. Skrill
    3. Neteller
    4. ecoPayz
  2. Credit/Debit Cards:
    1. Visa
    2. MasterCard
    3. Visa Electron
  3. Bank Transfers:
    1. Instant Banking
    2. Bank Transfer
    3. Wire Transfer
  4. Other:
    1. ApplePay
    2. EntroPay
    3. Trustly
    4. PaySafeCard

Mobile Gambling Apps

The busy everyday life has convinced many people to turn to online gambling instead of visiting the typical brick-and-mortar ventures. Due to their modern hectic lifestyle, few people can afford the time to turn on their laptops and enjoy the games on their favourite gambling site. Aware of their customers’ needs many operators have developed efficient and convenient mobile apps, allowing users to gamble and bet on the go. Looking for the best betting and gambling apps for Irish players? To help you make the right choice, below we have listed the best gambling apps currently offered in Ireland:

Gambling Type Best Gambling App iOS Version Required Android Version Required
Sports Betting UniBet iOS 9.0 or later Marshmallow or later
Online Casino LeoVegas iOS 8.0 or later Lollipop or later
Daily Fantasy DraftKings iOS 10.0 or later KitKat or later
Online Poker 888poker iOS 8.0 or later KitKat or later
Online Lotto The Lotter iOS 8.0 or later JellyBean or later

Safe & Fair Gambling Software

While finding an operator that offers a rich game selection and generous bonuses is essential, it is even more important for a gambling site to rely on a safe and stable software. To offer the best technical conditions for their users, many operators rely on renowned software providers such as Microgaming and OpenBet. Most gambling sites would usually provide explicit information about their software system in the footer of their homepage or under terms and conditions. Alternatively, you can ask the corresponding operator’s support team for additional information. To help you recognise the quality products, we have listed the best gambling software currently used in Ireland:

Gambling Type Best Gambling Software Other Popular Software
Sports Betting OpenBet BetConstruct
Online Casino Microgaming Playtech
Daily Fantasy NetSet GAN Software
Online Poker iPoker Network Playtech
Online Lotto Kootac Playtech

Ireland Gambling Laws & Regulations

The implementation of the Betting (Amendment) Act in 2015 legalised all forms of online gambling in Ireland. According to the amended act, all operators interested in accepting players from Ireland must hold a licence from the corresponding authorities in the country. Currently, the online gambling industry in Ireland is regulated by three authorities – The Revenue Commissioners, the National Lottery and The Department of Justice and Equality .

Meanwhile, when it comes to land-based gambling, the law is rather complicated. Until 2013 all brick-and-mortar casinos were technically illegal, but due to certain legal loopholes, many small casinos operated as private clubs. The implementation of the Gambling Control Bill 2013 legalised the operation of small casinos with limited games. Need more information on the Irish gambling laws? In the following paragraphs, we have provided specific and useful information on the Irish legal system. Meanwhile, if you are looking for information on a specific legal matter, for quick access, you can also click one of the symbols below.

Is Online Gambling Legal in Ireland?

Yes, online gambling was officially legalised in 2015, when the Betting (Amendment) Act was officially implemented. Currently, players can legally enjoy all forms of online gambling in Ireland, including online casinos, online poker, sports betting, bingo and daily fantasy. All local and foreign operators are allowed to offer their services in Ireland as long as they become subjects to Irish licensing and taxation.

Land-Based Gambling in Ireland

The Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1956 originally prohibited all forms of gambling with the exception of lotteries ran by charities. Nevertheless, distinct loopholes in the act allowed private members’ clubs to operate as casinos. However, the legal situation of the land-based gambling in Ireland changed notably with the implementation of the 2013 Gambling Control Bill. The bill stated that a maximum of 40 casinos could operate in the country and that none of them could have more than 15 tables. The main idea behind the law was to avoid the establishment of large Vegas-style casinos. Meanwhile, Ireland has also registered a notably high interest in horse race betting, and currently, it has one of the highest numbers of horses per capita in the world. Wondering what your best gambling options are? Below we have listed the biggest brands in Ireland:

Biggest gambling brands in Ireland:
  • PaddyPower – an Irish bookmaker founded in 1988 in Dublin. It operates some of the most popular land-based and online gambling services.
  • The Fitzwilliam Casino and Card Club – a small casino located in the centre of Dublin.
  • Boyle Sports – one of the largest independent bookmakers in Ireland.

Regional Gambling Laws & Differences

The Republic of Ireland has four provinces – Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster. They are further divided into 26 counties. Nevertheless, the Irish regions do not have separate regulations, and when it comes to gambling, they follow the officially stipulated laws. Thus, online gambling is fully legal in all Irish regions, while the land-based gambling situation remains complicated as the country is trying to avoid the establishment of massive casino resorts.

Official Regulatory Bodies

The gambling industry in Ireland is currently regulated by three separate institutions. The two main regulators are the Department of Justice and Equality and the Revenue Commissioners. Nevertheless, only the latter deals with applications for betting licences from local and offshore operators. Meanwhile, the National Lottery in Ireland is responsible for the regulation of gambling activities for charitable purposes. You can find more information about Ireland’s regulators below:

Department of Justice and Equality Overview
Website www.justice.ie
Address 4 St Stephen’s Green, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 2, D02 FD70, Ireland
Phone +353 1 602 8202
e-Mail info@justice.ie
Active Since 22.01.1919
Key Persons Charlie Flanagan TD, David Stanton, Pat Breen, Finian McGrath

Established in 1923, the Revenue Commissioners is an Irish-governmental agency, responsible for regulating and licencing the gambling industry in the country. The Revenue is also in charge of the customs, the excise and the taxation of the Irish gambling industry. for your convenience, we have listed the main information about the Revenue Commissioners in the table below. If you have any further questions or doubt, please contact the agency by using the contact details below.

Revenue Commissioners Overview
Website https://revenue.ie/en/Home.aspx
Address Upper Yard, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2, D02 F342, Ireland
Phone 01 738 3646; 1890 482 582
e-Mail stampduty@revenue.ie
Active Since 21.02.1923
Key Persons Niall Cody, Gerry Harrahill, Michael Gladney

The National Lottery was originally created when the Irish government passed the National Lottery Act, 1986 in order to help raise funds for noble causes. The National Lottery started operating in 1987 mainly with scratchcards. Nowadays, the lottery operates three families of drawing games – Lotto, EuroMillions and Daily Million. For your convenience, we have listed the main information about the National Lottery in the table below. Have any further questions? Please contact the Irish National Lottery by using the provided contact details.

National Lottery Overview
Website www.lottery.ie
Address Abbey Street Lower, North City, Dublin 1, Ireland
Phone 1890 244 344
e-Mail info@lottery.ie
Active Since 23.03.1987
Key Persons Dermot Griffin

Gambling Taxation: Do I Have to Declare My Winnings & Pay Taxes?

All gambling winnings in Ireland are completely tax-free. Due to the fact that they are not considered an income nor a capital gain, they are currently exempt from tax. Thus, not even professional gamblers would be required to pay a tax on their winnings. Moreover, even if there is a fine line between taxable and non-taxable gambling, it is rather hard to pursue individual cases where gambling winnings should be taxed. Thus, it would not be easy to impose personalised taxes. Bearing that in mind, it comes as no surprise that there are no changes in the gambling tax situation expected in the near future.

Legal Gambling Age

Gambling Type Legal Gambling Age
Sports Betting 18+
Casino 18+
Daily Fantasy 18+
Poker 18+
Lotto 18+

The minimum legal gambling age in Ireland is 18. According to the Irish laws, a minor aged under 18, cannot buy a lottery ticket or make a bet. Thus, anyone under the legal gambling age is not allowed to enter casinos or bookmakers. Nevertheless, until recently, under the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956, anyone aged 16 used to be permitted to engage in gaming at amusement halls or fun fairs. However, this is no longer the case since the Irish government approved a bill to raise the minimum age for all forms of gambling to 18. The new legislation came into force in 2018. Minors should steer clear from all such venues to avoid possible legal repercussions. Likewise, all gambling establishments that allow the access of minors, risk facing potential legal charges.

Advertising Laws

According to the current advertising laws in Ireland, gambling commercials are allowed as long as they convey a message that promotes responsible play and direct people to a source where they can find information about gambling. Furthermore, marketing communication about gambling should not encourage irresponsible behaviour, suggest that gambling could provide an escape from personal problems, state or imply a promise of winnings that are unrealistically high etc. The gambling advertisements should also not state that a player’s skill could be used to define the outcome of a game unless it could be factually proven. Moreover, gambling commercials should not contain any elements that could be appealing to children or feature children in the advertisement itself. Furthermore, there have been certain proposals to ban gambling ads for sports betting. However, no decision has been taken yet, and all online gambling sites in Ireland have argued that the proposal is rather impractical.

Penalties for Illegal Gambling

Mainstream Vegas-style casinos are prohibited by the Irish gambling law, and the establishment of such ventures could lead to serious legal charges. Meanwhile, unlike other countries, Ireland does not classify social gaming as a legal offence, and the organisers and participants of such meetings will not be prosecuted. Furthermore, according to current laws, casino owners in Ireland could be considered designated persons for money laundering. Anyone responsible for such fraudulent activities risks being imprisoned for up to 14 years. All people proven to have assisted the alleged designated person are also at risk of facing serious legal charges. Wondering what other penalties for illegal gambling exist in Ireland? Check out the list below to find out:

Penalties for gambling-related crime:
  • Money Laundering – Anyone involved in money laundering activities could be incarcerated for up to 14 years
  • Underage gambling – Any minors caught gambling in Ireland risk being fined with up to £100 according to the Betting Act, 1931. The proprietor of the register premises where the alleged crime was committed shall also be required to pay a fine.
  • Tax-Evasion – While tax-evasion is considered to be relatively rare in Ireland, the government has a plan of action against businesses trying to evade or conceal taxes. The Revenue performs random audits on businesses to prevent and discourage this practice. Additionally, any businesses responsible of committing tax-evasion would be taken to court.

Upcoming Regulation Changes

The constantly growing popularity of the gambling industry has led the Irish government to seek more efficient regulation methods. Following the example of the United Kingdom, which has a single regulation body – the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, the Irish lawmakers have introduced the Irish Gambling Control Bill 2018. The bill suggests that in order to exercise more efficient control over the gambling industry, Ireland should create a single authority such as an Office for Gambling Control. Similar to the UKGC, the alleged new authority would be responsible for granting licences and regulating the Irish gambling industry. According to the plan, the Office for Gambling Control will have the right to seek reports and run background checks for any applicants for gambling licences. All new gambling establishments will also be required to pay a levy for the maintenance for a special social fund responsible for aiding and treating gambling addicts. The good news is that this will mean the Irish gambling sites are subject to local inspections in addition to thoserun by independent international authorities.

Responsible Gambling & Addiction Prevention

The Irish government encourages responsible gambling, and anyone affected by gambling problems or addiction can find qualified help in the country. Problem Gambling Ireland is a charitable organisation able to provide information about the treatment of gambling addictions. It has various informational resources that would be useful to anyone suffering from gambling problems. Alternatively, there are various independent centres where gambling addicts can receive professional therapy. Additionally, as we mentioned above the Irish government is currently working on the establishment of a charity organisation that will provide professional help to anyone affected by gambling problems. Meanwhile, we have listed several Irish institutions specialised in treating people affected by gambling problems:

Online Gambling in Ireland Trivia – Curious Facts

Ireland has one of the most successful and progressive gambling industries in Europe. The country’s official legalisation of online gambling has given fruits and many operators offer their services to Irish players. Ireland is also a country in which the sports are specifically cherished. Especially the one called Gaelic football or “Caid”. The sport, however, was not referred to until the 19th century when the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) established an official playing code for the game. Currently, Gaelic football is arguably the most popular sport in Ireland and inevitably the subject of many sports bettings. Many bookmakers such as PaddyPower provide players with various betting options such as spread betting.

History of Gambling in Ireland

We have already discussed the online gambling in Ireland and all it implies. But have you ever wondered how it all started? Ireland is a country with a long history, and the gambling industry is an important part of it. To help you understand how Ireland became the country with one of the fastest growing gambling industries in Europe, we have prepared a timetable with the most significant gambling events in Irish history. In it, you can follow the process from its very beginning in the 1800s until the legalisation of the online gambling industry in 2015.

Ireland Gambling History
1800-1900 Gambling activities are starting to take root in Ireland. Horce racing attracts the interest of many players and becomes a popular sport.
1922 The establishment of the Irish Free State. The country decides to soon begin to regulate the constantly growing betting industry.
1926 The first Betting Act comes into power. The act aims to address the unregulated horse racing industry and obliges anyone taking bets on sports events to hold a government-issued licence.
1931 A revision of the Act states that anyone interested in taking bets on a sport event must hold a licence from the government.
1956 The Gaming and Lotteries Act is officially introduced. The prohibited casinos to operate in Ireland, while charitable lotteries were permitted. A “loophole” in the legislation allowed “private members” clubs to operate as a casinos, allowing certain gambling activities.
1988 The famous bookmaker PaddyPower is founded in Dublin, Ireland thanks to the merger of three Irish bookmakers who decided to combine sources and join force.
2013 The Irish government passes the Gambling Control Bill and all forms of gambling became legal and regulated. The act also gives ground for the creation of the Office for Gambling Control Ireland. The idea has been taken into consideration by The Irish Governement.
2015 The Betting (Amendment) Act licenses and regulates online gambling. All operators interested in offering their services in Ireland must hold a licence issued by the government and become subjects of local taxes.

Famous Land-Based Casino and Gambling Resorts

Even though land-based casinos are technically prohibited in the country, a loophole in the 1956 Gaming and Lotteries Act allows “private members” clubs to operate gambling activities. An opportunity that many have taken and have developed successful gambling ventures. Since 2013, however, up to 40 small casinos are allowed to legally operate in Ireland. So, while you may not be able to encounter the typical Vegas-style casinos on Irish territory, you can still play your favourite slot and card games in the country’s casinos. Wondering what your best options are? Below you will find listed some of the most popular gambling ventures in Ireland, available both for locals and tourists:

List of famous casinos in Ireland:
  1. 4 Kings Casino and Card Club – a famous privately-owned casino club in Ireland.
  2. The Fitzwilliam Casino and Card Club – a relatively small casino, located In the centre of Dublin.
  3. Macau Casino Complex – Located in Cork, it offers a wide variety of games.

Famous Gamblers and Poker Players from Ireland

Ireland might not be among the most famous gambling destinations, but it has still left a trace in the casino industry. A number of talented Irish gamblers have proven their skills in poker tournaments and strategic card games and have shown us that gambling could become a profession if handled carefully and intelligently. Some of them, such as John O’Shea, have made and lost millions during their gambling careers. Others, such as Barney Curley have gained popularity for a having achieved the highest betting winnings in Irish history. You can see those who carved their names in the history of online gambling in Ireland down below:

List of famous Irish players:
  1. John O’Shea – O’Shea became famous in 2013 when his documentary “The Gambler” was broadcasted on TV. He is famous for having made and lost millions during his career.
  2. Barney Curley – Curley is known as the player that has achieved the highest betting winnings in the Irish gambling history. His biggest win is worth €18 million and is the result of a four-hour horse bet.
  3. Dara O’Kearney – O’Kearney is an Irish ultra-runner turned professional poker player. Ranked second in the official Irish Poker Rankings various times, Dara O’Kearney has given several speeches on the challenges he has faced as an older poker player.

Irish Gambling Books and Movies

The gambling industry has become an essential part of the Irish economy and culture. Bearing that in mind, it comes as no surprise that it has become the main topic of various popular Irish films. Furthermore, the issue of the gambling industry’s growing popularity and the consequences of it have been discussed in various Irish books. Wondering which they are? Check out our lists below to find out:

List of Irish Gambling Movies:
  1. On the Nose (2001) – A gambling comedy that tells the story of Brandon, a university janitor who has a fondness of horse race betting.
  2. All Bets are Off (2018) – a documentary that offers a different look on the gambling addiction.
List of Irish Gambling Books:
  1. Tony 10: The astonishing story of the postman who gambled €10,000,000 … and lost it all – Authors: Declan Lynch, Tony O’Reilly
  2. Gambling for Life – Author: Harry Findlay

Online Gambling vs Land-Based Gambling in Ireland

As we have explained, there are certain legal differences between the online and the land-based gambling industry in Ireland. Until 2013 land-based casinos were not officially allowed. However, according to certain loopholes in the 1956 Gaming and Lotteries Act, “private members” clubs could operate gambling activities. Currently, up to 40 small casinos are allowed to legally operate in Ireland. Nevertheless, the online gambling industry in Ireland provides more gaming options and operators for players to choose from. For comparison, you can see the top real casino and one of the best online gambling sites in Ireland listed below:

Best Online Casino in Ireland
888casino
100% up to €200 New Player Bonus
Best Real Casino in Ireland
Macau Casino Complex

Did you find our gambling guide about Ireland useful? If so, we have many more guides and articles that you will enjoy. We constantly follow the gambling news and add new information to our site to make sure that you are always up-to-date with the gambling industry’s changes. Wondering which are our most popular gambling guides and articles? We have listed some of them below as well as our latest gambling news.

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