Various forms of land-based and online gambling activities are now legal in Ireland, and the main types of real money gambling include casino gambling, horse racing and greyhound racing, lottery, bingo and poker. While the government does issue licenses to national operators, most Irish players who sign up to online casinos today tend to play at foreign gambling sites, and they are not breaking the law when doing so.
Gambling, in general, is really popular in Ireland and the attitude towards gambling is also fairly laid back, especially when compared to some other European nations and many other countries around the world. Although online gambling is becoming more popular, it wasn’t permitted until recent years.
Gambling History in Ireland
Ireland has come a very long way since the early days when there was no regulated gambling industry whatsoever, to now having a modernized and fully regulated online gambling industry to be proud of. The gambling laws in Ireland are governed by the Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1956, and in 2001 the Greyhound Racing Act was approved. The 2001 legislation was passed to regulate the sports betting market, which made it legal for sports bets to be placed at online sportsbooks and also at land-based bookmaker venues, but only at ones that are approved by the Irish government. Overseeing all of this is the Irish Gambling Authority.
In 2003, Ireland became one of several countries that made it possible for its residents to gamble at online casinos by passing the Gambling Control Bill and this meant that players could now gamble at home-grown online casinos or foreign online casinos, but also only at ones that were licensed by the Irish Gambling Authority. Online gambling has been completely legal in Ireland since 2015 with the passing of the Gambling Act 2015 and this new piece of legislation also enabled the country to implement new online gambling tax rules.
Ireland Gambling & Online Gambling Laws
In more recent years the gambling laws that apply to online and offline gambling activities in Ireland have been carefully crafted before being passed, and this open market has led to a rise in the number of perfectly secure gaming venues that Irish residents now have access to. Gambling in Ireland is legal across the country, and there are currently plenty of trusted gambling websites for its citizens to choose from.
There are a growing number of Irish online casinos that are licensed in the country (and operate from within the country’s borders), but there are even more that remain unlicensed by the Irish Gambling Authority, yet still aim their business towards the Irish market while operating from outside of Ireland. Irish citizens can gamble either online or offline providing they are 18 or above, and the wide range of legal gaming sites that are currently available tend to be controlled by trusted operators with proven track records.
The liberal attitude and modernized regulatory system have helped to positively develop the Irish gambling market, and it continues to encourage potential operators of new online casinos to acquire the licenses. There are no laws that prevent Irish players from gambling in the real money mode at foreign gambling sites, and players will continue to do so until either the law says otherwise, or until perhaps better, home-grown gambling sites come along.
Online Casino Benefits to Players from Ireland
The good news for people who want to place a bet, play poker or play on hundreds of online casino games and who live in Ireland today is that there are now plenty of perfectly secure, fully licensed online casinos and other gambling sites out there. Irish players are literally spoilt for choice, and these websites (both home-grown and foreign gambling sites) are often ranked among the very best gambling sites in the world.
The ones that aren’t licensed in Ireland tend to be licensed either by the UK Gambling Commission or in one of several other major licensing jurisdictions around the world such as Gibraltar or Malta. While most of these websites tend to be displayed in English, some also now support Gaelic. You can deposit & withdraw at today’s best Irish gambling websites using a variety of popular Irish online payment options, and some of the main payment methods include credit & debit cards, bank transfers, e-wallets and prepaid cards, plus almost every online casino in the world today that welcomes Irish players also accepts Euros.
Irish online casino players have access to live dealer games that have been developed by some of the most advanced live dealer casino suppliers in the world such as NetEnt and Evolution Gaming. You can also enjoy playing on more than 2,000 games from various other leading online casino software providers such as NetEnt, Playtech, Microgaming, Red Tiger Gaming, Yggdrasil Gaming, NextGen, IGT Interactive, Quickspin, Play’n GO, Thunderkick, ELK Studios and others. 24/7 toll-free telephone support is usually provided at these sites, and you can take advantage of some of the best casino bonuses available anywhere online today when you sign up.
FAQ Useful to Players from Ireland
Do I have to pay taxes on my winnings at online casinos in Ireland?
No. You don’t have to pay taxes when playing in the real money mode at online casinos.
Are foreign online casinos and other gambling sites safe and secure?
Yes, especially when you play at ones that are licensed either in the UK, in Gibraltar or Malta. Your personal details and your funds are always in safe hands, and the casinos are generally protected by the latest SSL encryption technology.
Am I breaking the law by playing at foreign gambling sites?
No. There are currently no Irish laws that prevent you from signing up to and then gambling in the real money mode at foreign-owned/licensed gambling sites.
Can I play in Euros and what kind of online payment options can Irish players use when depositing & withdrawing at online casinos?
You can play in Euros, and you can choose from several popular Irish online payment options such as credit & debit cards, prepaid cards, e-wallets and other reliable methods.
Do I have to download any programs from the internet to play at online casinos?
No. Most Irish online casinos today are entirely non-downloadable, but some also have the option to download the casino software onto your Windows operating desktop or laptop computer for free. Just make sure your Flash player is enabled and up to date. You can also choose between playing on desktop or mobile.
Online Gambling Highlights in Ireland
- Irish players can legally enjoy playing on thousands of casino games at hundreds of fully licensed online casinos that are controlled by reputable operators with proven track records
- Online casinos that welcome Irish players are free to sign up to and they have some amazing bonuses for both new & existing members
- Frequent real cash players can benefit from ongoing bonuses and rewarding VIP loyalty programs
- Today’s best Irish online casinos and other similar gambling sites are free to sign up to, you pay no taxes on your winnings, and you can count on the highest levels of online security when playing at these sites
- You can play at these casinos either on desktop or mobile, and the games can be launched instantly in your web browser, no download required
- Euros are accepted, and most major Irish online payment options are also widely accepted at today’s best Irish gambling sites
Problem Gambling Help in Ireland
Game Aware Ireland is the country’s major national organization that is devoted to increasing awareness, improving education and funding treatment for problem gambling. There are several other similar non-profit organizations that Irish problem gamblers can also turn to, and most of these provide free counselling from professionally trained counsellors either in person, via toll-free telephone or email.
These internationally accredited problem gambling organizations also run live support groups just like Gamblers Anonymous, plus you can also find lots of other useful problem gambling information at each of these websites with various online forums, articles, frequently asked questions sections and questionnaires. Today’s best Irish online casinos and other top-rated Irish gambling sites also provide various other useful links to one or two other reliable originations such as GamCare. Some of these are based in Ireland, and others are based outside of the country.