14 May 2022
By Roger Kennedy
When countries realised they could only restrict gambling for so long, many decided to introduce regulation that would safeguard their citizens. Here’s more on online gambling in Ireland.
The amended Betting Act 2015 looked into the activities of online gambling entities as they were making an entry into Ireland, and it was decided that they could operate without question as long as they were licensed. Local and offshore companies are allowed to operate in the country with the right documents. They also pay taxes like any other profit-making entity.
The First Gambling Act in Ireland
The history of gambling in Ireland is an interesting one. It is said to have started in 1922, and in 1926, the first Betting Act was introduced to curb illegal bookies. They were expected to get booking licenses from the state authorities to keep the act at accepted levels of sanity. Gamblers who currently gamble at Top EU casinos owe this freedom to this Act that would set the tone for all the amendments to come. Bookies were required to display their licenses where they would be seen easily for verification, and this remains to date for land-based EU casinos that accept UK players in Ireland. Today, the best online casino Europe sites are backed by their land-based counterparts that are already licensed by the country’s regulator.
The National Lottery remains a top option for most Irish safe gamblers, while sports come second. It is said that Irish people love their football, rugby, and horse racing, so these are top games you will see them placing wagers on regularly. These days, you have online casino sites offering slots, roulette, jackpot games, and other specialty options that have become a hit.
Regulation in Ireland
The Gambling Control Bill that came into effect in 2013 limits the number of offline casinos to forty. Presently, there are 25 of them in major towns and cities, so you are looking at Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, and Waterford.
Currently, there is no standard gambling regulator in Ireland, but the Gambling Regulatory Authority which is poised to be operational from 2023, is expected to lead the way where licensing is concerned. The local casinos are guided by the provisions of the 2015 amendment and the Gambling Control Bill, which are sufficient. All offshore sites are expected to be licensed by internationally known authorities like the UK Gambling Commission. Local and international operators work with the Irish Revenue Commissioners for some of their licensing requirements.
Taxes on remote betting are yet another area that the country has been working on to ensure coherence and sanity in the industry. At first, operators paid 1% of their incomes and 15% commission tax on betting exchanges. This changed to 2% on turnover and 25% commission respectively in 2019.
The Future of Irish Gambling
The future of Irish online casino sites seems bright since there are rules already in place to protect gamblers. Today’s gambler is informed, thanks to the numerous sites that write reviews of sites and what players can expect, so there are few chances of being scammed. The many sites popping up daily also allow many people to make choices as opposed to playing at the only one available option. The country is already making some money from licenses and taxing the incomes of gambling operators, so this motivation is enough to keep this industry going.
Here are some of the things you need to know:
- Remote and land-based gambling are legal in Ireland
- The legal age for gaming is 18
- The casinos are currently regulated by the Irish Revenue Commissioners.
- Operators pay taxes and annual license fees
If you are an Irish gambler, you want to check the sites first before registering accounts. You want the ones licensed by the Revenue Commissioners, and other international bodies, for security. It is safe and legal to bet online or at land-based casinos, and the country has several such sites for these services. The legal age for gambling here is 18, so you want to be that or older to register an account.