Ireland has had a long history of betting, long before its independence 100 years ago. Irish punters like to place their bets on a regular basis and the Emerald Isle is home to one of the largest betting operators in the world, Paddy Power. Popular sports include football and various unique events like Gaelic football, hurling, and camogie. A significant grey market used to exist in Ireland, however, in 2015 The Betting Amendment Act came into effect and managed to efficiently regulate the local gambling market.
- Around 15% of the population bets on a daily basis.
- Currently, 299 online betting companies offer their sportsbook in Ireland.
- Betting winnings are not taxed. The gambling law is unclear regarding sports trading.
- MMA betting is on the rise thanks to Conor Mcgregor’s popularity.
- The minimum age was recently raised to 18 years
Online Betting in Ireland: The legal framework
Correct regulation and low taxes have resulted in a thriving betting market in Ireland. There are 960 land-based shops located around the country, with 630 belonging to three large firms and the rest to minor operators. The Department of Justice has issued 299 online betting licenses. Operators need to pay a €10.000 fee every two years, 15% on Gross Gaming Revenue, plus 1% on total turnover that goes directly to the state. The latter is expected to be scrapped during the coming months, following a Department of Finance review of the Betting Act 2015.
Betting sites that operate without a license are subjected to a €150.000 fine that can be doubled for repeat offenders. Despite speculation for significant changes in the Act in 2016, the date was pushed back, with the only recent alteration having been the raise of minimum age requirements from 16 to 18 years.
Do Irish Punters pay tax on gambling winnings?
Similar to other countries, low taxes and a high number of betting sites mean that punters can easily find bookies who offer high odds. Winnings are not taxed, however, the legal framework is unclear on “trading” as it is considered a form of a steady income and not a recreational activity. The vast majority of Irish bettors have turned their interest from betting shops and race tracks to online bookmakers, something that naturally had a negative impact on traditional wagering turnovers.
The 7 Best Betting Sites in Ireland
Online betting in Ireland is dominated by local powerhouse Paddy Power. It has been estimated that after their merger with Betfair in 2016, the Irish bookie now controls 17% of the Irish gambling market. Other popular betting sites include Bet365, 10bet, William Hill and Betfair. Bwin is the only non-Irish or British operator to make the top 10 list. The favorable tax rates and transparent regulatory procedures mean that betting sites frequently compete against one another in terms of odds and bonuses, much to the delight of Irish punters.
Paddy Power.ie is the top bookie in Ireland and as a local one, is the home to all kind of national sports and events. From the football Premier Division to the first Paddypower GAA division and the Six Nations Rugby tourney. All coming with handicaps, winning margins, and features like “Same Game Multi”. McGregor’s uprising also made Paddy Power turn to MMA, offering a great number of fights.
Ladbrokes.ie is mostly preferred in Ireland for horse racing and greyhounds, offering races from all over the UK. The football range is also excellent, coming with a total of 200 alternative markets at every event and special bets like “Celtic to win all remaining fixtures”.
Bet365 Ireland is a football above all bookie, offering tons of alternative markets, but more importantly lots of outright bets. Moreover, you will find lots of promos like the “soccer early payout”, “Bet365 Price Promise” on Horse Racing and “Six Nations Early Payout” offers.
10bet.ie is a great choice for the football enthusiasts, offering matches not only from the Premier Division but from the lower divisions as well. The “Daily trebles” and the Price boosts are a great addition. A full range of matches at the Gaelic football and Gaelic hurling is available.
William Hill Ireland emphasizes at football and horse racing. Bet on Scorer and Match Specials from the Premier League, on Timecasts and Asian HC’s, as well as on all the Irish and UK races. You will also find all the essential betting choices from the Allianz NFL and the “All Ireland Senior Football Championship”. Darts betting is one of the most popular sports in
Unibet Ireland, thanks to the offered outrights and match bets. You can bet on Handicaps at the Six Nations Rugby tournament and on ante-post bets, like Top Tryscorer and Triple Crown. On football, the Matchday Specials and the alternative markets on the Premier Division will thrill you.
Betway Ireland is a more all-around sportsbook. It comes through with a wide range of markets regarding football betting. Combo bets, corners and cards bets among them, but the most intriguing feature is the “#betyourway”, offering combinations of alternative bets. You will find many extra markets at the Gaelic Sports and lots of Betway boosts and promos.
How to deposit on online bookies in Ireland
You can deposit and withdraw using practically every method when betting in Ireland. Solo, Switch, Laser, Credit & Virtual Cards, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, and Bank Transfers are widely accepted. If you like to complete payments via mobile, then you can use Boku, which is massively used by the younger generation of bettors. It’s a really fast and secure payment method, however, keep in mind that it has a €30 daily transaction limit.
Where is the Irish market headed?
Ireland took the right step two years ago when they followed the UK’s successful example to regulate their online gambling market. Low taxes and plentiful licenses always work in favor of players, as increased competition leads to better odds. The fact that minimum age requirements were raised is a positive factor in terms of keeping minors safe, however, Ireland must tackle its increased youth gambling addiction rates. What remains to be seen, is what alterations will be included on the proposed Betting Act.