The gambling landscape: exploring Ireland’s laws and regulations

There are several pieces of legislation that currently govern the licensing and regulation of gambling across Ireland. Fancy testing the luck of the Irish? Read this first to make sure you’re doing it legally.

The gambling landscape: exploring Ireland’s laws and regulations.

You may have heard the popular phrase ‘The Luck of the Irish’. Dating back hundreds of years, it’s a phrase bandied about when talking about Irish sports teams’ victories or when we Irish seem to find ourselves in fortunate and even miraculous positions.

If you want to test the luck of the Irish while you’re in Ireland, one easy way to do so is by placing a bet at one of the many in-person or online casinos located across the island.

However, before you put your money down, you’re going to want to make sure you’re keeping things legal.

It wouldn’t be very lucky if you found yourself on the wrong side of the Garda after all. To keep you right, we’re exploring Ireland’s laws and regulations so you can discover the county’s gambling landscape with ease.

Historic changes to Ireland’s gambling landscape – over 200 years of history

Historic changes to Ireland’s gambling landscape.
Credit: pexels / Drew Rae

Today, when we think of gambling, we usually imagine online platforms available across the globe.

Online casino websites like are the most convenient options in the market. They give players the capacity to test their luck from anywhere. However, the gambling industry has a long history in Ireland.

When exploring Ireland’s laws and regulations around gambling, it’s important to be aware that things have changed massively over the past decade.

Regulation of gambling in Ireland began almost 200 years ago with the Betting Act of 1853. Since then, there have been numerous changes and updates made to keep up with the changing times.

With a desire to establish itself as a leader in the global gambling landscape, Ireland’s government and regulatory authorities are proactive in safeguarding participants to ensure a safe gambling experience.

Recent changes to Ireland's gambling landscape.

In November 2022, Ireland’s Gambling Regulation Bill was passed by Parliament. This Bill brought into existence an overarching regulatory body to oversee all forms of gambling in Ireland, including in-person, online, and mobile gaming.

The Bill is yet to be introduced. However, it’s expected to be enforced either this year or next.

So, if you’re planning on gambling in Ireland, it’s important to keep up to date with the changes and updates to regulations that are coming soon.

Some of the primary changes that will be introduced as part of this Bill include a total ban on television gambling advertisements between 5 pm and 9:30 pm every evening. Gambling ads will also be completely banned on social media in Ireland.

Other changes include a ban on gambling with funds from a credit card, the banning of VIP memberships and free bet promotions, and any sports clubs with members under the age of 18 are forbidden from accepting sponsorship from gambling companies.

Laws for casinos in Ireland – regulations around in-person gambling

Laws for casinos in Ireland.

When exploring Ireland’s laws and regulations around gambling, it’s important to acknowledge the differences between online and in-person casinos.

In 1956, the Gaming and Lotteries Act was introduced to bring some form of regulation to the island’s casino landscape. One of the main impacts of this act was a ban on commercial casinos operating in Ireland.

However, a loophole in this law meant casino owners could establish members-only gambling clubs that host various casino games, such as blackjack, slots, poker games, and more.

Currently, there are around 15 of these establishments in Ireland where participants can gamble for real money without breaking the law.

Laws for online gambling in Ireland – how the online landscape looks

Laws for online gambling in Ireland.
Credit: pexels / Tatiana Syrikova

A relatively new addition to Ireland’s gambling landscape, emerging in the early 2000s, the country’s government and regulatory authorities had to act fast to bring into force laws and regulations to govern this.

Currently, Ireland’s gambling laws mean it is legal for Irish citizens to engage in licensed and regulated offshore gambling. Irish citizens can also partake in licensed domestic online gambling.

Online poker is also legal in Ireland and there are various online casinos where you can try your luck. However, many will have their own rules and requirements for those participating, such as age restrictions.

Sports betting in Ireland – one of the oldest forms of gambling in Ireland

One of the oldest forms of gambling in Ireland.

Sports betting in Ireland is one of the most popular and longest-standing forms of betting in Ireland. Thus, the island’s oldest gambling laws focus on this form.

Until 2015, all sports betting in Ireland was regulated under the Betting Act of 1931. In 2015, this law was updated to the Betting (Amendment) Act to better reflect the country’s modern bookmaking landscape.

This update meant offshore sportsbooks and betting exchanges could integrate into Irish licensing policies and tax requirements.

Under this Bill, online betting businesses are also legally required to attain a remote bookmaker or betting intermediary license before offering services to Irish citizens.

So, if you planning on trying your luck while in Ireland, we hope we’ve cleared up any concerns you may have about Ireland’s laws and regulations. Good luck!

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