Popular Gambling Activities in Ireland

An Introduction: What Can You Legally Play in Ireland?

You won’t find online casinos in Ireland, but you will find various other gambling activities around the republic:

  • Various private clubs offer gambling activities, although you have to be a member of a private club to play. Memberships are free in most places.
  • Online casinos can operate throughout Ireland. Online venues can work if they have licenses within the republic. These places can offer poker, bingo, and sports wagering activities to players.
  • Horse racing tracks are open throughout various parts of Ireland. You can bet on races at any of these places.
  • Sports wagering is also available through various bookmakers throughout the republic.
  • Ireland also operates a national lottery with various draw and instant games.

What Are the Most Popular Gambling Activities in Ireland?

Games of Chance

games of chance

You’ll find various games of chance throughout Ireland. There are many enjoyable games like these worth watching while in Ireland:

  • Roulette is popular for offering a multitude of wagering options.
  • Dice games like Sic Bo are prominent games that work like roulette, except the player is wagering on how the dice will roll.
  • Bingo is fun for offering many ways for players to win. People can play 30, 75, 80, and 90-ball bingo games.
  • Lottery games are notable for their versatility. The Irish National Lottery has draw games like Euromillions and the Daily Million, plus it offers instant scratch games.

Card Games

card games

Card games are also fun for people to play, as they come in many forms:

  • Blackjack is available in traditional, single-deck, and face-up versions. Pontoon is also noteworthy, as you could win if you get five cards in your hand.
  • Baccarat entails choosing whether the player or banker will win the game.
  • Stud poker involves betting on who will have the best poker hand in a five or seven-card collection. Caribbean-style versions of stud poker where the players compete against the dealer are also popular.
  • Three-card poker is similar to traditional poker, except it entails getting the best three-card hand. A hand can feature a flush, straight, or three of a kind in the best cases.

Sports Betting

sport betting

Sports betting is popular for how people can place wagers on all their favorite events. You can bet on various sports like association football, basketball, rugby, American football, and cricket. Horse racing wagering is also popular throughout Ireland.

Sports betting provides versatility, as people can wager on multiple aspects of any match. They can place prop bets that cover specific teams or players, or they can stick with traditional spread or moneyline wagers. Futures wagering on upcoming events and outcomes is also available. The odds and payouts will also vary by event, helping people find the right markets they wish to support while betting on games.



Slot machines have evolved to where they can come in various distinct forms. You can play slot machines of all sorts, including traditional three-reel machines and advanced five or six-reel video slots. Many games will come with multiple lines for each play. Some can include bonus rounds where you could win free spins or high-value jackpots. The rules will vary by machine, so you can play with whatever choices you want when finding something exciting to play.

Many slots also feature progressive jackpots that rise as people play more often. Some progressive jackpots can be worth thousands of euros, making for a unique way to win.

What’s Happening with Offline Casinos in Ireland?

You won’t find any commercial casino in Ireland, as the Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1956 prohibits people from operating commercial casinos. The national government runs all gambling activities in Ireland. You can bet on sports at a bookkeeping site or race track, or you can play the national lottery. But the national government controls these functions, as the country holds a good grip over how people can gamble while in the republic.

You can find some offline casinos through private clubs throughout Ireland. These are venues that offer various casino games, but you must be a member of a club to access these games. Membership is free for most of these clubs. There are about fourteen of these clubs scattered throughout the republic, although most of them are in Dublin.

There have been efforts to try and make commercial casinos legal to operate in Ireland. The Gambling Control Bill was introduced in Parliament in 2013. The bill would allow up to forty commercial gaming halls to open in Ireland, but they would be limited to having up to fifteen tables each. The bill did not go anywhere, so private clubs remain the only places where you can legally find offline casino games in Ireland.

The Regulation of Online Casinos in Ireland

Ireland allows online casinos to operate throughout the republic. Irish operators and overseas companies alike can both run online betting casinos in Ireland.

The Betting Act Amendment of 2015 ensures online operators can run their gambling halls in Ireland. All operators looking to run in Ireland must follow a few rules:

  • An online casino must apply for a license to run in the republic. A license will cost €10,000 at the start.
  • All venues must renew their licenses every two years. The renewal fee will vary surrounding how much money the website brings in and how it gets funds from commissions. The renewal fee can be up to €200,000 in many situations.
  • All operators must pay the proper taxes for operation. These include a 12.5% corporate tax and a 2% gambling tax.
  • Transparency is essential for operating any gambling website in Ireland. All gambling activities must ensure the protection of all members’ data, plus all funds must be handled suitably without the risk of money laundering.

All forms of gambling can work online so long as a party has a suitable license for operation. These include traditional gaming options, sports betting, and online poker games. The main point is to ensure everything happens online and not in a physical spot.

Sports Betting in Ireland

How Popular Is Sports Betting?

Sports betting is one of the most prominent gambling activities you’ll find in Ireland. You can find more than a thousand betting shops throughout Ireland. These include some places that offer self-serve kiosks. Telephone wagering is also available in some places.

People enjoy placing bets on various sporting activities. These include things like association football, rugby, auto racing, cricket, baseball, basketball, and American football.

Sports betting is also available through various horse racing tracks around Ireland. Ireland features a thorough horse racing community, with many races occurring throughout the year. Off-track wagering is also prominent in many parts of the country.

Who Regulates These Gambling Activities?

The Irish government regulates all sports betting activities. The Betting Act of 1931 states that the Irish government has full control over how sports wagering events can occur throughout the republic. The Act was amended in 2015 to include support for offshore sportsbooks.

Various entities can operate different bookmaking offices throughout Ireland. Paddy Power is the most popular of these groups in Ireland.

Betting shops are not open on Sundays, although there have been efforts to try and change that ruling. People can still go to various online sites to place their wagers on sporting events on Sundays if they wish.

What makes Legal and Illegal Betting Different?

A legal betting site is certified by the Republic of Ireland to function and provide services to people in the country. A legal site will ensure the security and fairness of all games on the website. It can also offer various appealing bonuses and rewards for regular players.

Illegal betting sites often feature outstanding bonuses and various unique games. But these places may also be risky, as they may not be fully protected and could expose members’ data. These sites may also have unfair games that are heavily favored towards the operator, making it harder for someone to win a game in most cases.

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