Active players: 660.000
Regulated gambling products: sports betting, casino games, poker, lotteries, horse racing, bingo
Operator types: foreign and local online bookmakers & betting shops
Designated authority: Department of Justice
Status: Regulated. Online sportsbooks & casinos operate legally
Ireland has had a long history of gambling, long before its independence 100 years ago. Irish punters like to place their bets on a regular basis and the Emerald Isle is home to one of the largest betting operators in the world, Paddy Power. Popular sports include football and various unique events like Gaelic football, hurling and camogie. A significant grey market used to exist in Ireland, however, in 2015 The Betting Amendment Act came into effect and managed to efficiently regulate the local iGaming market.
Did you know?
- Around 15% of the population bets on a daily basis.
- Currently 299 online betting companies offer their sportsbook in Ireland.
- Betting winnings are not taxed. The gambling law is unclear regarding sports trading.
- MMA betting is on the rise thanks to Conor Mcgregor’s popularity.
- The minimum age was recently raised to 18 years
Top 3 online bookmakers in Ireland
Correct regulation and low taxes have resulted to a thriving betting market in Ireland. There are 960 land based shops located around the country, with 630 belonging to three large firms and the rest to minor operators. The Department of Justice has issued 299 online betting licenses, with operator fees including €10.000 every two years, 15% on Gross Gaming Revenue, plus 1% on total turnover that goes directly to the state. The latter is expected to be scrapped during the coming months, following a Department of Finance review of the Betting Act 2015. Betting websites that operate without a license are subjected to a €150.000 fine that can be doubled for repeating offenders. Despite speculation for significant changes on the Act in 2016, the date was pushed back to 2019, with the only recent alteration having been the raise of minimum age requirements from 16 to 18 years.
Similar to other countries, low taxes and high number of betting sites mean that punters can easily find bookies who offer high odds. Winnings are not taxed, however, the legal framework is unclear on “trading” as it is considered a form of steady income and not a recreational activity. The vast majority of Irish bettors have turned their interest from betting shops and race tracks to online bookmakers, something that naturally had a negative impact on traditional wagering turnovers.
Competition among bookmakers
Online betting in Ireland is dominated by local powerhouse Paddy Power. It has been estimated that after their merger with Betfair in 2016, the Irish bookie now controls 17% of the Irish gambling market. Other popular betting sites include Bet365, 10bet, Betfair and Matchbook, with Bwin being the only non Irish or British operator to make the top 10 list. The favorable tax rates and transparent regulatory procedures mean that betting sites frequently compete against one another in terms of odds and bonuses, much to the delight of Irish punters.
You can deposit and withdraw using practically every method when betting in Ireland. Solo, Switch, Laser, Credit & Virtual Cards, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller and Bank Transfers are widely accepted. If you like to complete payments via mobile, then you can use Boku, which is massively used by the younger generation of bettors. It’s a really fast and secure payment method, however, keep in mind that it has a €30 daily transaction limit.
Ireland took the right step two years ago when they followed the UK’s successful example to regulate their online gambling market. Low taxes and plentiful licenses always work in favor of players, as increased competition leads to better odds. The fact that minimum age requirements were raised is a positive factor in terms of keeping minors safe, however, Ireland must tackle its increased youth gambling addiction rates. What remains to be seen, is what alterations will be included on the proposed Betting Act in 2019.
Best betting sites in Ireland
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