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Ireland is big on gambling. This emerald isle is one of the best places in the world to enjoy a spot of casino, sports book and track-side gambling. That may come as a surprise, but dig a little deeper and it will all become clear.
Online Casinos in Ireland
After all, some of the best jockeys, horses and tracks all come from Ireland. Many of the world’s biggest gambling operations were founded here and gambling is so integrated into Irish society that you can’t go a single day without seeing an advert, passing a betting shop or, if you are like so many other Irish citizens, placing a bet.
In this guide we will take a look at what makes a top Ireland casino. We will show you what to look for, what you should avoid and so much more. If you are from Ireland yourself, then there is a good chance that casino gambling and gambling in general already plays a big role in your life. Whether that’s the case or not, this top Ireland casino article will give you the advice that you need.
Gambling is big in Ireland and it always has been. Just like the United Kingdom, there is a very strong gambling culture, both in the form of sports betting and casinos. Some of the biggest gambling companies in the world were formed here, including Paddy Power, and many others have offices here.
It has been said that Irish gamblers risk as much as €14 million every single day. That’s a vast sum of money for a country with a population of around 4.5 million, and it shows you just how ingrained gambling is in Irish society. As many as 14% visit a gambling establishment every week, and many more regularly visit online casinos.
When you look at these figures it is easy to see why so many online casino companies are focusing on the Irish market. But despite that, online gambling, and gambling in general, has been a very grey area in Ireland for many years.
Ireland Online Gambling Laws
Prior to 2015 and the passing of the Betting Amendment Act, online gambling laws were confusing, to say the least. No one really knew where they stood and while gambling was taking place every day in all of its forms, there was a certain confusion surrounding all of it.
This amendment act made things a little easier to understand though. It essentially clears things with the regards to gambling legality. It clearly states that customers are allowed to place money on sportsbooks and online casinos that are based outside of Ireland. The same open laws also apply to poker, bingo, lotteries and most other forms of online gambling.
This law, and the clarity that it brought, has helped to give online gambling in Ireland another boost. There are now suggestions that it could inject billions of Euros into the economy every year, growing month on month and rivaling gambling operations over the Irish sea in the United Kingdom.
Why Are So Many Ireland Casinos Based Overseas?
There are actually many gambling sites that are based in Ireland. They use this as a tax haven of sorts, keeping close to the United Kingdom without stepping foot inside of it. It’s why this is also a popular destination for companies like Starbucks, multi-nationals who want that connection to the big UK market, but don’t want to pay those big taxes.
Still, this is not a tax haven, so it’s rare that gambling sites will choose to base themselves in Ireland. Instead, they tend to setup shop in countries like Malta, as well as Channel Islands like Alderney. That’s because these really are tax havens, and just like Ireland, they are also very close to the huge gambling market in the UK.
They setup in these countries because doing so means they can pay less tax and they can also get around certain gambling laws. The United Kingdom has done a lot to stop overseas gambling sites from getting around these laws and they have forced many to pay tax. However, that does not apply to Ireland, which is why so many of them are basing their companies overseas and then offering their services to players in Ireland.
What Makes a Good Ireland Casino?
As a player in Ireland you basically get your pick of the best online casinos out there. The gambling laws are relaxed and all casino operators like to make sure their services are available to Irish players. As a result, you can take your pick of the best casinos in the world, scoring all kinds of bonuses in the process.
There is no shortage of great real money online casinos out there, and because you have your pick of the best then you should be very demanding and very strict. Make sure that your chosen casino ticks all of the following boxes:
- Regulated: You want a casino that is regulated, preferably in the Channel Islands or in Malta. You also want one that is licensed and audited, with all the necessary security certificates. Not all casinos offer these features, so make sure you focus on the ones that do.
- Bonuses: You should look for package bonuses, which includes a matched deposit bonus and a free spins bonus. The competition is fierce and the best Ireland casinos, including the likes of Bet365, BetWay and Spin Palace, all offer these.
- Loyalty Scheme: If the figures are to be believed, there are a lot of dedicated Irish gamblers out there. If you are one of these and you gamble a lot of money on a regular basis, then you should make sure you find a casino with a loyalty scheme to reward you for that regular play.
- Software: Focus on Playtech and Microgaming as a base, and NetEnt, BetSoft and IGT as extras. These are where the best games are and where you can get the most out of your gambling experience.
- Mobile: Many of us like to gamble on the go, but not all casinos have decent mobile casinos. The best of them do though and these are the ones that you should focus on. Don’t just take any old mobile casino either—find the ones that work with your device, the ones that are intuitive and the ones that have mobile exclusive games for you to enjoy.
What Makes a Bad Casino?
The best real money casinos are not too difficult to find and the bad ones stick out like a sore thumb. If they do not have auditing information, if they have software from unknown developers or from Realtime Gaming, and if they have no mobile software, then they should be avoided.
You should also never settle for an online casino that does not offer big bonuses. After all, with so many sites out there willing to throw a lot of money at you, and with so many loyalty bonuses reading regular play, it doesn’t make any sense to opt for a casino that doesn’t have any of these options.
The luck of the Irish has certainly been there with regards to online gambling laws. The question is, will it be on your side when looking for new casinos and placing your bets? There is only one way to find out.