Top Online Casinos in Ireland
For centuries, betting and gambling have been a cherished pastime in Ireland. Betting shops and bookmakers have a long tradition going back as far as the 17th century, so it comes as no surprise that online casinos in Ireland have been a successful evolution in our modern times. After all, it allows patrons to have a punt virtually anywhere, be it in the comfort of their home or on the go.
No doubt, history has seen Irish players developing an affinity for horse racing, sports betting and lotteries. It is only natural, that the top casinos in Ireland will be those offering a sportsbook alongside the usual casino games. At the top of the list is, as to be expected, homegrown Paddy Power followed by Boyle Sports, William Hill and Ladbrokes. Their strong brand and the high street presence throughout the country has made them household names that stretches far beyond the borders of Ireland.
The arrival of online casinos, however, has seen Irish punters being drawn to other forms of gaming and entertainment that complement their sports and lotteries. In the last decades, online slots and Live casino games have taken a firm place alongside the traditional betting activities.
Increasingly, Irish gamblers are taking to online roulette, blackjack, poker and baccarat which are streamed live from studios or even land-based casino by a handful of providers such as Playtech, Evolution Gaming, NetEnt Live, Extreme Live Gaming and Authentic Live Gaming.
The number of online slot machines has surged exponentially ever since internet speeds and technological developments allowed them to be played instantly in a browser without the need to download any program files and Irish players have not hesitated to embrace them as an additional form of gambling.
Among the top and most-liked online casinos in Ireland are Casumo, Slotsmillion, Dunder, Videoslots plus some of the groups such as the GiG Group with its brand's Guts, Rizk, Highroller and Kaboo or L&L Europe Ltd. with Fun Casino, Yeti Casino, Hyper Casino and All British Casino. Worth mentioning are also some of the casinos that offer one-stop shops for casino games and sports betting. Standing out from the crowd are Betsafe, Betsson, Bet365 or Mr Green.
What You Can Expect From the Top Online Casinos in Ireland
At the forefront of everyone's mind when it comes to online gambling is "Will I get paid?". For some reason, we have this self-doubt when we first start playing at a new casino and it is important to choose the right casinos.
Although the majority of online casinos in Ireland are safe, reliable and trustworthy, there are a few black sheep that have no interest in conducting their business with honesty and integrity. So, what should you look out for and expect from top online casinos in Ireland?
A solid licence is one of the single most important factors in choosing where you play online. A casino displaying an official licence means that it is authorized to operate games for that jurisdiction.
Take for example the UK Gambling Commission. They are the regulatory body in the United Kingdom that enforces the law according to the Gambling Act and its amendments. It is one of the most stringent licenses an online casino can acquire and not adhering to the code of conduct will result in heavy fines or the licence being revoked. Hence, having a UKGC licence assures players a safe and fair gaming environment. So, look out for casinos who take regulations seriously and hold such licenses and avoid the ones that don't.
Fast Withdrawal Times
You had a lucky streak and naturally, you want your winnings fast, or better instantly paid out. The best online casinos will not let you wait for long and pay within a few hours of a withdrawal request or even within a few minutes.
Depending on the withdrawal method used, you can expect to see your money immediately in your e-wallets. However, bank and card transfers might take two to five business days from the time the casino processed them.
Luckily, Irish players have very few restrictions on what payment methods they can use to deposit at an online casino. They can choose between instant bank transfer options such as Sofort and Trustly, e-wallets (Skrill, Neteller, ecoPayz, Paypal), prepaid cards, credit/debit cards as well as for cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Etherum and Monero.
Bonuses are also another thing to consider, with almost all casinos and bookmakers offering match bonuses upon first and second deposits that require a turnover requirement before the funds are converted to withdrawable cash.
Bonuses work by matching a players deposit by a percentage. So, a €20 deposit will give you €40 to play with for a 100% match bonus and €30 to play with for a 50% match bonus.
It's always important to read the terms and conditions regarding these bonuses. Some allow you the freedom to withdraw any winnings minus the bonus amount before meeting the turnover if you haven't touched the bonus money. Others insist on completing the wagering requirements.
Slots will typically contribute 100% meaning if you bet €100 then €100 will be fully contributing to wagering whereas live games such as blackjack and roulette will sometimes only contribute as much as 10% or will be entirely restricted.
Variety is the spice of life. Top online casinos cater to all tastes and budgets by offering extensive amounts of slots, table games and live casino games. Some will also have other choices such as scratch cards, video poker as well as a sportsbook.
In our modern society, we all have those small or maybe not so small devices in our pockets that let us browse the internet wherever we are. Of course, we can also use it for phone calls, check the time or play at an online casino. The advent of the HTML5 standard has allowed operators to offer their slots and games via mobile platforms that can be accessed on a browser or via a downloadable app.
It's easy to understand why betting on the lottery is one of the most popular forms of gambling in Ireland. The draw of winning such a life-changing sum of money is mouth-watering no matter how minimal your chances may seem.
But it's not just the lottery that offers such jackpots. Since their inception, slots were also developed with jackpots in mind. Some providers offer jackpots on their games and there are a few varying types of them.
Fixed Jackpot Slots
These jackpots have a fixed amount and wherever you play this slot it's jackpot will always remain the same relative to your stake and regardless of a casino. Amounts usually reach no higher than 5,000x your stake.
These types of jackpots are specific to a single casino or a casino group. So, a slot could have a €20,000 jackpot on casino A and only €1,000 on casino B because there is a higher volume of players on casino A.
Slots With Progressive Jackpots
These are the holy grail of slot jackpots. The main difference here is that they are pooled from the entire network where the game provider has the slot listed. These jackpots can reach some serious amounts with the current Guinness world record of £13.2 million being won by British man Jon Heywood in 2015 on Microgaming's Mega Moolah slot.
One of our most basic needs is a pleasure and we seek this in many ways. Today we have TV, movies, music, video games, theatre, amusement parks, the list is endless. However, gambling has been around for many centuries, long before most modern forms of entertainment.
The exhilaration of gaining something or being rewarded gives us a special feeling and brings about happiness and a rush of adrenaline.
Whether you're watching your horse catch up and edge past the post first, observing a bouncing ball hopping on and off of your colour on the roulette table or hitting a massive bonus round on a slot, we all have something that makes our heart beat faster and online casinos have it all to offer!
Online Gambling Law in Ireland
Online Gambling in Ireland is perfectly legal. The Betting Amendment Act 2015 complemented the Betting Act 1931 and provides for the licensing of remote bookmakers and betting intermediaries.
The amendment legalized all forms of online gaming for Irish punters and didn't restrict them to just sports betting and lotteries. For an online casino to offer their services on the island, operators can simply obtain a licence form the Irish Government and pay tax on their revenues.
History of Gambling in Ireland
Before we take a look at Irish Gambling laws let's have a brief look at Irish history to give you an idea of just how much Irish people love their involvement in competitive undertakings. You may be surprised to learn that Ireland is home to one of the oldest sports in the world.
- Hurling dates back some 4,000 years and is one of Ireland’s Native Gaelic games. The sport also features in Celtic Mythology where the Irish hero Cú Chulainn invited Conchobar to a feast before taking to the field to watch it being played. It involves two teams of 15 players, a stick called hurl, a small ball called sliotar and some goalposts where points are earned from putting the ball either in the net (3 points) or over the bar (1 point).
- Horse racing came along in the 17th century, becoming the first known form of gambling in Ireland. Initially, only horse owners would place bets between each other on who had the faster horse. It then spread to relatives and friends placing their bets on privately owned land. Eventually, it became a much more organized and competitive event and attracted larger crowds and more significant betting.
Publicans at the time started to promote the sport in their pubs and taverns, becoming the first “bookmakers” on the island. Completely unregulated and coupled with the alcohol served on the premises it let to serious negative consequence as one can imagine. As a result, the government banned gaming in pubs, which in turn gave rise to the opening of betting shops by bookmakers.
Gambling in Ireland Today
Gambling in Ireland is somewhat of a grey area with many complexities and loopholes that leave enough room for casinos, bookmakers and even online casinos to flourish.
One such example is land-based casinos. Although prohibited in Ireland under The Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956, there is no problem finding and entering one. They are creatively called Private Members Clubs and require you to become a temporary member before you can enjoy putting a few chips on zero. The process is quick and all that is required is a photographic ID for proof of age and residence. The clubs have everything you would expect to see at a regular casino, ranging from slot machines to a large variety of table games.
In July 2013, the new Gambling Control Bill was drafted to further reform Ireland’s gambling laws, although it still hasn't been legislated. This new bill proposed bringing all forms of gambling under one dedicated regulator which would have seen a new commission set up called Office for Gambling Control Ireland. It would have led to new laws being implemented that would allow operators to apply for licenses and open establishments in the country.
However, since the bill has not been ratified, the government has according to the current law no role or responsibilities in relation to the licensing or regulation of gaming machines. Under part III of the Lotteries Act 1956, it is left up to local authorities, district courts and then the revenue commissioners to decide whether to grant a gaming licence or not.
Further adding to the legal jungle are the National Lottery Act 2013 and the Horse and Greyhound Racing Act of 2001. However, it also shows that although gambling in Ireland might be a little convoluted, it is still legal.
Most Typical Forms of Gambling in Ireland
Looking at the most recent statistics, 67% of the Irish population has gambled in some form in the last 12 months. Lottery tickets and scratch cards lead the chart, followed by betting at bookmakers and racing tracks.
Online gambling still plays only a minor role in the overall picture but has grown exponentially in the last few years. What differentiates it from the other forms is the fact that people gambling online do it more often than their counterparts. The most common reason for that being that it can be done from virtually anywhere were punters have internet access.
What this reiterates is that with the advance of the internet technology and online casinos becoming increasingly accessible, more people are doing it on a regular basis and the trend is set to rise.