Ireland, just like the United Kingdom, is very much open for business when it comes to online betting. Since 1956, the country has regulated gambling, although those laws primarily catered to the land-based betting industry, which was the only market around at the time. A new set of rules came into effect in 2013 to control online betting. While online casino gaming is legal in Ireland, there are still a few things players should know about the laws and how they work. This page is your one-stop-shop for Irish online gambling laws.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Ireland?
As we’re sure that you are already aware, betting online is entirely legal in Ireland. The Gambling Control Bill of 2013 made all forms of online gambling legal. Officially, all types of online betting were made legal when the Horse and Greyhound Act of 2001 was passed, however, they remained largely unregulated until the more recent bill sprung up in 2013.
Ireland is one of the few European Union countries to abide by EU law when it comes to gambling industries. Unlike many other countries, which block any casino sites which aren’t licensed out of their respective territories, in Ireland, any online casino is legal provided it is licensed out of a recognized jurisdiction, primarily an EU one.
The Irish do not license and regulate casinos themselves, instead, trusting in respectable organizations such as the UK Gambling Commission, and their Gibraltar and Maltese counterparts to do the job for them. In theory, provided an online casino is adequately licensed, audited and regulated, it is legal for you to play there when residing in Ireland. Moreover, any winnings you snap up are tax-free.
Ireland Online Casinos
Irish online casinos are essentially all online gaming portals which are open to players based in Ireland. That includes any casino which is licensed out of the European Union, particularly the big ones which are regulated out of Malta, Gibraltar, and of course, the United Kingdom.
Most of the major Irish casinos will also be able to offer online sportsbook capabilities, and may even include bingo games. They will naturally use the euro currency, and will likely have promotions and bonuses which are exclusive to players in Ireland. While it is not mandatory, some of these sites may also have an Irish theme to them, but most will almost certainly provide Irish luck-themed slots, such as Barcrest’s Rainbow Riches series of games.
Irish customer support is essential, and players in the country will be able to obtain help and assistance via live chat, e-mail and toll-free telephone at Irish casinos. As for the Gaelic language, it is seldom available as almost Irish casino players opt to play in English.
Offshore Casino Sites for Irish Players
An offshore casino for Irish players constitutes any gambling portal which offers casino games but is not licensed out of the European Union. Some of the more popular domains to fit the bill in this category include those authorized out of Kahnawake and Curacao.
Generally speaking, these foreign sites are accepting of Irish players, though they may require that players use the US dollar currency and play in English. They may or may not have Irish-themed games, but will almost certainly not feature popular Irish payment methods, such as Laser.
While there is nothing wrong with playing at an offshore casino, and Ireland certainly doesn’t punish players for doing so, it is generally favorable to play at a domain which is licensed out of the EU, as they tend to be better regulated than those more international sites.
Ireland does not punish offshore casinos for offering their services to Irish players, nor do they block internet access to such sites. As a result of this, many of these casinos are more than happy to cater to players in the Republic of Ireland.
Is Anything Likely to Change in the Future?
When it comes to Irish gambling laws, it is difficult to say whether anything will change in the future. As with anything associated with Brexit, everything is up in the air. There is a possibility that Ireland will decide that since the United Kingdom is no longer in the European Union, that UK Gambling Commission licensed casinos thus constitute offshore casinos, which would make them illegal to play at. Again, though, there would be no punishment for players choosing to do so.
Taking such a radical move would be unwise. The UKGC is one of the most heavily regulated, audited and popular gambling commissions in the world. It would make no sense for Ireland to block UK Gambling Commission licensed casinos, mainly as they are amongst the safest in the world for Irish players to play at. After all, isn’t that the whole point of regulation?
It is unlikely that Ireland would do so, but apart from the potential or unforeseen Brexit hiccups, there isn’t likely to be too many changes in the future for the Irish online casino gambling industry.
Top Irish Casino Sites
For the time being, Irish players have the world at their feet. They can choose to play at any online casino which is licensed out of the EU but also have the freedom to play at other licensed casinos, too, with no repercussions for doing so. It is recommended that Irish players opt to play at a site which can deliver the euro currency, Irish-friendly promos and bonuses, as well as payment methods and support.
A few of the following casinos fit the bill: Paradise Casino, Cleopatra, Fruity Casa, No Bonus Casino, bgo Casino, Betway Casino, PlayOJO, Hippozino, Spin and Win, Dunder, ComeOn Casino, Jetbull Casino, EU Casino, and The Sun Play Casino. It is also worth perusing this page for other sites, as there are plenty of top Irish online casinos out there for you to enjoy here.