It’s interesting to observe how gambling switched from being an activity that’s reserved for certain groups of people to being such a popular form of entertainment that’s widely practised by individuals from all walks of life across the globe.
The sheer number of physical betting establishments, as well as the emergence of online casinos, are clear indications of the widespread appeal of gambling.
And Ireland is no exception. In fact, we’ve all heard of the “luck of the Irish”. So perhaps, if you’re in Ireland, depositing some money in casinos might be worth the risk.
But before you test out your Irish luck by depositing money, why not play Rainbow Riches online slot with free spins and no deposit bonus codes? You literally have nothing to lose!
Then again, if you’re still eager to learn more about the gambling habits of the Irish, the following should have you sorted.
The Irish spend a pretty penny on gambling – third biggest gambling country worldwide
Irish gamblers make up a substantial portion of the European population. When it comes to gambling popularity, it ranks third worldwide.
Australians and Singaporeans are the only nations that spend more per capita on this type of entertainment.
In Ireland, the gambling industry is worth an estimated €10 billion, with almost 50% of the population participating in one form of gambling or another, such as lotteries, scratch cards, bingo, slots, roulette, table games, or sports betting.
Luck of the Irish? – not so much!
Irish gamblers lost a total of €1.54 billion in 2020, which equates to an average loss of €341 per adult in the country.
However, Ireland ranks 14th globally in terms of the average biggest losses when gambling online.
The average Irish adult spends more on online gambling than their UK counterparts, with the typical Brit spending just under €3 each week and a little more than €153.80 annually.
Preference for online and mobile platforms – keeping up with the times
In Ireland, land-based casinos are not as popular as their online counterparts, possibly due to the increased transparency and accountability offered by online platforms.
Moreover, as the number of Irish gamblers is steadily increasing, we are also seeing a rise in mobile gaming. Nowadays, even low-cost and inexpensive handsets offer Internet connectivity and the ability to download applications.
This has resulted in over 44% of all online bets in Ireland being placed through mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, exceeding the use of desktop computers.
Who gambles the most? – 55 to 64-year-olds
The prevalence of gambling is different across groups. Among adults, the highest prevalence of gambling is observed among those aged 55 to 64, with a rate of 72.4%.
The next highest group is aged 35 to 44, with a rate of 70.5%. Those aged 45 to 54 come next, with a rate of 69.4%.
Interestingly, lottery games are the most popular form of gambling among these age groups.
Besides, younger adults, specifically those aged between 18 to 24, tend to gamble directly at bookmakers (20.8%). It’s also worth noting that those aged 55 to 64 are the most frequent gamblers.
As expected, the younger population, specifically those aged 25 to 34 years, enjoy online gambling most, which is in line with their preferences and frequent use of smart devices such as mobile, tablets, laptops, computers, and so on.
Regarding socio-economic groups, they tend to share the same levels of interest in gambling activities, implying that gambling is popular across the board, irrelevant of social class.
Prevalence of gambling – the most popular forms
What do Irish people enjoy playing most, you might ask? Well, the lottery is the most popular form of gambling, followed by live casino games, blackjack, slot games, and sports and horse betting.
Live casino games are the second most popular because they offer players the authentic casino experience, which they can enjoy from the comfort of their homes without the need to wear anything fancy.
Blackjack, then, is mostly enjoyed in its online version versus a live dealer. Slot games are a favourite due to their many variations, colours, and bonuses, while sports and horse betting are more popular among males, with some placing bets worth over €250.
Laws in Northern Ireland – how the laws differ
Northern Ireland has its own laws on gambling, which are stricter than those in Ireland and the rest of the UK.
For instance, it’s illegal to offer real money prizes for table and other gambling games of skill, but private and small lotteries are legal for entertainment purposes.
Despite efforts to open legal brick-and-mortar casinos, there are no legal casinos in Northern Ireland and several illegal ones.
However, last year, Northern Ireland proposed a new gambling bill that aims to revamp gambling regulations with a focus on online gambling.
What does the future look like? – a big surge in online bets
It is anticipated that by 2025, mobile devices will account for nearly 60% of all online bets placed in Ireland.
We’re already seeing signs of this trend, and it’s expected to continue, with online and mobile gambling expected to surpass traditional brick-and-mortar gambling establishments in the next three years.
This is expected even as the world recovers from the impacts of Covid-19.
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