How is Online Gambling Regulated in Ireland

20 May 2021
By Roger Jones


Gambling has long been popular within Ireland. It’s something that the Irish have long had an affinity for. In fact, it’s one of the oldest pastimes within the country. However, just like everything else, there are always new innovations that make things change. One of the biggest ones over the last few decades is the introduction of online gambling. Ireland is one of the few places that has pretty much always had gambling regulation in place, so it wasn’t resistant to the new technology.

The Irish gambling laws have been in place in some way since 1926. This had quite a few amendments made between then and the 1930s. It showed that Ireland isn’t married to its laws if a positive change is possible. This changed slightly in the 1950s when another change was made and then further changes were made in the 1970s and 80s. This led to the lottery being set up in the 1980s, which was the biggest wholesale change to the gambling laws in a generation. Of course, this was until the online gambling revolution took over.

Are Casinos Allowed?

This is something that isn’t quite black and white. Land-based casinos aren’t technically allowed. However, there are some ways to get past this which club owners have been doing for a long time. Essentially, a public land-based casino is illegal within Ireland. Private clubs aren’t though. So, anyone who wants to operate a land-based casino within Ireland has to run it as a private, members-only club. This is a little loophole that many business owners chose to make use of.

When it comes to online casinos, things are much more cut and dry. It does mean that players don’t have to worry about any confusing legalities if they want to play online.

Online Casinos

Online casinos are fully legal for players in Ireland. It means that there are no worries about what can and can’t be played. It’s an excellent system and gives players a lot of choices. One of the most impressive aspects of the Irish system is that casino operators are able to apply for licenses from most locations.

So, sites that are located in the UK or Malta can apply for a license to offer services to Irish players. It ensures that there are both on-shore and off-shore casinos available within Ireland. It does mean the overall choice that’s offered is significantly higher to Irish players when compared to other countries. Most of the casinos are also offered in other countries, this could mean that you can play a online casino nz while you are not located in New Zealand but in Ireland.

What Gambling Choices are Available?

Players have access to some high-quality gambling options when playing in Ireland. The first options come from online casinos. Here players have access to everything they can play at a land-based casino, but on a larger scale. So, one example of this would be video slots. The slot choice at an online casino is much larger than at a land-based casino. This is because there are no space constraints when it comes to an online casino so the choice can be much larger. There’s also the added bonus that each slot can be played by an infinite number of players, so the total number of slot players at any one time is significantly higher at an online casino when compared to a land-based casino.

The table game choices also follow a similar pattern. The ability for an online casino to offer players lots of different variants, as well as lots more players able to play at each table, means that many more players can enjoy these titles. Online casinos are also able to offer players the chance to enjoy a more immersive version of table games. These come from the live dealer games. They actually use video streams to provide an actual real-life dealer to players.

There are also sports betting choices. These tend to be separate from online casinos and have their own dedicated sites. Players are able to bet on a range of different sports and can also bet on a range of different markets within those sports. There’s also the option to create accumulator bets which also make use of the different markets that are offered to players.

Ireland Moving Forwards

Of course, this is just a small snapshot of what Ireland has to offer players who enjoy gambling. There are also lotteries offered, although these are not offered as a solely online experience. There are expected to be some amendments to the gambling laws within Ireland over the next few years, this is mainly due to the increase in popularity of online gambling. Ireland seems to be looking at the example of svenska casino sites. In Sweden, there is a tight regulation in place and that seems to work out fine. Whether this will be a positive or negative change remains to be seen. However, as the country does bring in a lot of tax revenue due to online gambling and it creates a lot of jobs, it’s safe to say that it is unlikely that any wholesale changes will be made.

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