Ireland has a very long history of gambling as the first Betting Act was established back in 1931. Nowadays, Irish punters like to place their bets on a regular basis. Popular sports include football, horse racing, rugby and various Gaelic games like football, hurling and handball. A significant grey market used to exist in the country. However, in 2015 the Betting (Amendment) Act came into effect and managed to regulate the local betting landscape. For the time being, the Department of Justice serves as the domestic gambling regulator and the Revenue Commissioners is responsible for the issuance of betting licenses. Nonetheless, the authorities are not actively blocking foreign online operators from offering their services to Irish bettors. Thus, punters have plenty of decent options at their disposal and are free to opt for the Irish bookmakers they prefer.
5 things to know about bookies in Ireland
- More than 15% of the population bets on a daily basis
- Currently 50+ regulated online bookies operate in Ireland
- Sports betting winnings are tax-free. The law is unclear regarding spread betting
- MMA betting is on the rise thanks to Conor McGregor's popularity
- The minimum age for betting stands at 18 years
Best bookmakers in Ireland for 2023
The following shortlist contains the top online bookies Ireland has to offer in 2023. We have reviewed their odds and betting markets on football, Gaelic football and horse racing. Plus, we have tested them in terms of services and credibility.
How Irish bookies operate
The transparent regulation and low taxes for operators have resulted in a thriving betting market in Ireland. There are 800+ licensed land-based betting shops located around the country, with most of them belonging to BoyleSports and Paddy Power and the rest to minor operators. The Revenue Commissioners has issued more than 50 online betting licenses. All the online bookmakers in Ireland that wish to apply for a license have to pay a €10,000 fee in order to acquire one for a period of 2 years. On top of that, they have to pay a 2% betting duty, as well as a 25% betting intermediary duty that goes directly to the state. Irish bookies that operate without a license are subjected to a €150,000 fine that can be doubled for repeat offenders. Despite speculation for significant changes in the Betting (Amendment) Act in 2019, the date was pushed back; with the only recent alteration having been the raise of minimum age requirements from 16 to 18 years.
What should players know about Irish online bookmakers
Similar to other countries, the high number of available operators means that punters can easily find bookies in Ireland that offer high odds. You should bear in mind that winnings deriving from Irish bookies online are tax-free. However, the legal framework is unclear on "spread trading" (spread betting), as it is considered a form of a steady income and not a recreational activity. It is also worth noting that the vast majority of Irish bettors have turned their interest from land-based betting shops and race tracks to online bookmakers, due to the high odds and wide array of betting markets that they offer; something that naturally had a negative impact on traditional wagering turnovers.
What sports do bookmakers in Ireland offer?
The Irish are huge sports fans and among the most passionate bettors in the world. Sport plays a very important role in Irish society and is an integral part of the local culture. The most popular sports in Ireland are by far the traditional Gaelic games. They include Gaelic football, Gaelic handball, rounders, hurling and camogie - which is the women’s version of hurling. The local Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) manages all of them. Hurling markets in particular are widely available on Ireland bookies.
Other than the Gaelic games, the bookmakers that operate in the country also come with a wide range of markets on football, horse racing and rugby union; which are the sports that follow in popularity. Irish punters love placing their wagers every time their national football or rugby team plays in big competitions. As for horse racing, the Irish Derby is the most significant domestic race and bettors are keen on wagering on the event.
How to deposit on Ireland bookmakers
After taking a thorough look at all the aspects surrounding the online bookmakers Ireland has to offer; we will now refer to their payment methods. Remember that you can deposit and withdraw using practically every method when betting in Ireland. Debit cards, bank transfers and e-wallets such as PayPal, Skrill, Neteller are widely accepted. Google Pay and Apple Pay have also become very popular among bettors in recent years. Nevertheless, in late August 2021, all licensed bookies in Ireland, both land-based and online, took the decision to ban credit card betting by the end of the year. So, those who place their wagers on local licensees won’t be able to use their credit cards in order to fund their accounts anymore.
Where is the Irish market headed?
Ireland took the right step when they followed the UK's successful example to regulate their online betting market back in 2015. No tax on winnings and a wide range of betting options 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 in the proposed gambling law. More specifically, a new Gambling Bill is expected to be drafted sooner rather than later. It is going to reform the regulation of gambling activities in the country and introduce an independent Gambling Regulator. Till that happens, punters will keep on betting seamlessly on their favorite Irish bookmakers online.
The complete Irish bookmakers list
Since we have analyzed in detail the local betting market; it is now time to bring you the full list of bookmakers in Ireland. Go on and check them all out in detail and choose the one that suits you best.
Currently there are 800+ land-based and more than 50 online bookmakers operating legally in Ireland. Bettors can either opt for local licensees, or they can also place their bets online on foreign operators who manage to operate in the country’s market.
Every year there are dozens of new operators launched in the Irish market. We have compiled them all in our new bookmakers page, in order to save you from the hassle of doing your own research. So, you can simply check all the new bookmakers Ireland has to offer and opt for the one that better suits your needs.
Since online sports betting is legal in Ireland, there are hundreds of bookies that accept Irish punters. Nonetheless, the ones that truly stand out are Bet365 and Bwin. They are both among the top bookmakers in the world, offering very competitive odds and a wide range of markets on all the popular spots such as football, rugby and hurling.
Yes, 22Bet is among the international bookies that manages to operate in Ireland and accepts players from all over the country. It comes with 60,000+ pre-match events per month, a solid 95% payout on the top leagues and 100+ deposit methods to choose from.
No, unfortunately Vbet is not available in Ireland. As a matter of fact, there might be hundreds of decent online bookies that operate in the country; however, Vbet is not one of them. You can check all the alternatives in our analysis and opt for the bookmaker that best suits your betting needs.
No, 1xBet does not accept bettors who reside in Ireland since it doesn’t operate in the country. More specifically, 1xBet may be considered one of the most famous bookies globally; nevertheless, it chose not to offer its services to Irish punters. 22Bet though constitutes a great alternative for those who are familiar with the BetB2B platform.
The Irish Bookmakers Association is the authority which represents the wide majority of betting shops that are located in Ireland. It was founded in 2005 and it currently includes memberships by more than 750 land-based bookies out of the 800+ that legally operate in the country.
In Ireland, as in many other countries, there are independent bookmakers that manage to operate without any problems. These are non-EU licensed (i.e. mostly Curacao and Panama based) bookies that accept European bettors and in this case Irish ones. Be careful not to confuse them with the self-proclaimed independent Irish bookmakers like BetMcLean.