The Irish are quite fond of their sports betting, so much so, that it is estimated that more than 10% of the population engages in some form of sports betting on a weekly basis. As a result, the betting scene in the country is alive and well, with multiple platforms operating at any given time. With the Gambling Act of 2015, the Irish online gambling market has seen unstopped growth and many new operators are launching campaigns targeting the Irish customer base.
While this is all well and good, the laws surrounding sports betting in the country may not be clear to all. For your convenience, we have gathered all the important information and presented to you in a clear and understandable manner. Below, you will find a brief and concise overview of Irish online betting laws, which will no doubt prove useful for you.
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Legalities of Online Sports Betting in Ireland
Historical Betting Overview
Sports betting has always been a popular activity among the Irish, with this trend continuing into the present day. This is evident with the introduction of the Gaming Act of 1845, which put in the first regulations into effect. Over the years, multiple pieces of legislation were drafted to manage the sports betting scene. With the Betting Act of 1931, the recently established Republic of Ireland decriminalized sports betting entirely and also place a new set of regulations to ensure fairness. The new act brought in standardized working hours for sportsbooks, minimum bet values, a specific licensing process and more.
Over the years, the Betting Act of 1931 has been refined multiple times to better reflect the present sports betting scene. The Betting (Amendment) Act of 2015 was meant to address the rising online sports betting industry and it introduced the framework for licensing and taxation that is currently in effect in the country.
Odds Format in Ireland
Of the several odds formats commonly supported in the online sports betting scene, Irish sportsbooks use the fractional format by default. It is the most popular seen across Ireland and the United Kingdom, being the one that Irish punters are most familiar with. It is presented like this:
Bet Option: 5/1 or Bet Option: 5-1
Reading the odds is quite easy once you understand them. The fractional format only shows the profit you stand to gain from a bet. Therefore, if you wager $100 on a 5/1 bet, winning it will give you $500 in profit and $100 as you base amount, for a net value of $600.
Of course, many platforms also support the alternative formats – American and Decimal, giving you the option to change them at any time. So if the fractional format is not right for you, you can always switch between the three.
Ireland Betting Laws and Legislation
As far as online sports betting is concerned, Ireland is one of the countries that has readily accepted the practice. All forms of sports betting are legal and regulated in Ireland, giving punters a lot of options in this regard. Operators are free to accept bets on a wide range of events, as long an appropriate license is acquired.
Certifications are issued by the Irish Revenue Commissioners after all requirements have been met on behalf of the operator. This entails them to legally offer online sports betting to the Irish public. The license has to be visible at all times and failure to do so, likely indicates a lack thereof. Moreover, entities accepting bets without a license are liable to receive a six-figure fine, doubled for repeated offenses.
Irish customers, on the other hand, have the option to gamble at both domestically-licensed and offshore sportsbooks. There is no repercussion for punters who register with non-regulated gambling websites, though considering the number of government-approved platforms, this is hardly necessary.
It is worth noting, that alongside traditional sports betting, Irish sportsbooks can also accept bets on horse and hound races. This is regulated under the terms of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Act of 2001.
Ireland Betting Restrictions
While betting has been accepted by the Irish public and thrived over the years, there are certain restrictions that one has to consider. For one, there is a minimum age required to participate in betting. Specifically, this is 18 years old. This has to be verified by the sportsbook at some point after opening an account. Both parties are liable if this law is broken. Betting platforms face fines and possible closure if they accept bets from persons under the minimum age, whereas minors providing false documentation risk punishment, as well.
Something else that you also need to know is that gambling debts are not enforceable under Irish law. This applies to both sportsbooks and punters, though platforms face punishment if they fail to provide payment. Specifically, this will affect the operator’s chance of obtaining or renewing a license.
Online Betting Regulatory Body in Ireland
Sports betting in Ireland is regulated by the Irish Revenue Commissioners. This institution dates back to the establishment of the Irish Republic and has managed the customers, taxes and other related matters for the country. The Irish Revenue Commissioners is also the government body which issues sports betting licenses for both land-based and digital operations.
Before a license is issued by the Irish Revenue Commissioners, operators have to obtain a tax number with this institution and register with the Revenue Online Service. There is no limit to the number of gambling licenses that can be issued by the Commissioners, but there is a fee for renewing a license which can amount to anywhere between €10,000 and €500,000 per year. The betting turnover is taxed 2% starting from 2019 while betting intermediaries are taxed 25%.
Ireland Online Betting Bonuses
One aspect of the online betting experience are bonuses and the benefits they provide. Bonuses are one of the primary ways for online sportsbooks to compete with each other, trying to beat the value that they can offer to punters. Customers have the opportunity to claim a number of promotions at most online sportsbooks and these come in a large variety.
Most commonly, you will be offered a match bonus of some sort. This type of promotion will match the size of your deposit up to a certain sum and add that amount as bonus money. You will be asked to wager the bonus amount several times are set odds before you are allowed to cash it in.
In the world of online sports betting, free bets are always a boon. Sportsbooks are known to offer customers the opportunity to place a wager at no cost. If you lose, it is not a problem, since you never staked any real money. However, if you win, you get to keep the profit.
Another interesting promotion is available in the form of improved odds. Certain sportsbooks will boost your odds by a certain percentage. This will also increase your winnings on those particular bets if you happen to win.
Mobile Betting in Ireland
With the capabilities of mobile devices reaching unprecedented highs, it is no surprise that sportsbooks are beginning to adopt mobile betting at a rapid pace. Nowadays, punters have the option to make their bets while on the go. The only requirements being a stable Internet connection and a working mobile device. Modern betting websites are fully prepared to accommodate any and all punters, including those who want to use their smartphones and tablets.
The mobile sports betting experience is just as good as its desktop counterpart. Online sportsbooks put in a lot of effort to ensure that you have a great time no matter what your platform of choice is. More often than not, you will have access to the full entirety of the sportsbook, which includes all betting markets, all promotions and you may even get some exclusive mobile bonuses, as well. Moreover, the sportsbook will allow you to use all supported payment methods on mobile platforms, whereas customer support will always be at your disposal. It is not difficult to conclude that mobile sports betting is just as enjoyable on mobile platforms as it is on desktop one. With this in mind, you can easily place a bet while on the go, whenever the time allows for it.
Popular Betting Banking Methods in Ireland
When you join an Irish online sportsbook, you will have multiple banking methods at your disposal. There are several services that are quite popular with the online betting community and are nearly universally accepted.
Credit cards are always on the top of any online betting platform’s priority when it comes to payment method. Not only are they in the hands of almost everyone, but punters are quite fond of them, as well. Visa and MasterCard are always in demand and you too will be able to manage your bankroll with these brands.
If eWallets are more to your taste, you will be pleased to know that Neteller and Skrill are universally supported, whereas ecoPayz also enjoys a presence at many gambling websites. These banking solutions allow you to maintain a bankroll and to easily move funds between it and your sportsbook balance. Easy to use and convenient, eWallets are the banking method for millions of punters all over the globe.
Prepaid methods also enjoy some level of support from the online gambling scene, though their usefulness is not as high as the previous two types. Specifically, Neosurf and Paysafecard are the two most commonly seen prepaid cards at online sportsbooks. The main benefits of prepaids are instant deposits and high privacy. However, this is offset by an inability to withdraw your balance and low transaction limits.
Overall, there is a good deal of banking solutions accepted by modern online sportsbooks and these will vary between the different platforms. You can always read up on the most popular banking solutions we have covered to see which one is right for you.
Ireland Betting Sites FAQ
Will I have to verify my identity at Irish betting sites?
The short answer is yes. Modern gambling websites are only allowed to operate under the condition that they verify the eligibility of their customers. At some point during your betting experience, you will be asked for proof of identity. You can verify it by sending the sportsbook a copy of your ID, driver’s license, or other forms of documentation.
Are promotions worth it?
That would depend on the promotion and its rules. Nothing comes free and even bonuses in the sports betting scene come with strings attached. A typical match bonus at online betting sites will come with a turnover requirement at set odds. You will need to complete before a withdrawal of the bonus is permitted. It is up to you to device whether or not the risk justifies the potential reward. Of course, other promotions, such as free bets and odds boosts come with less risk and are generally favored by punters everywhere.
Can online betting websites be trusted?
Licensed and regulated sportsbooks are legal operations under the supervision of the appropriate authorities. If you choose to join one such betting platform, you will find no issues in terms of fairness. However, you need to beware the unlicensed websites, as there is no guarantee you will ever see your bankroll again once you deposit it. Feel free to read our reviews, in which we cover many different aspects of online sportsbooks, including their trustworthiness.
Can a sportsbook refuse me access?
While it is rare, sportsbooks and other gambling websites are known to cut off access to certain customers. In most cases, these are problem gamblers, customers who engage in fraud, or those who abuse the platforms’ bonuses or policies. It is worth noting that the first two can be restricted outright, it is often the case that the latter is more likely to be prohibited from participating in promotions or to have their betting limits reduced drastically.
How to Irish sportsbooks address problem gambling?
Legitimate and respectable sportsbooks understand that gambling may be an issue for certain customers. Therefore, you will find that licensed operations will allow customers to voluntarily restrict their access. This can be done by setting a betting limit for a period of time or outright refusing to accept their bets for a time decided by the customer. Moreover, legitime sportsbooks have links to organizations that deal with problem gambling, where afflicted individuals can seek help.