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Ireland online sports betting laws

Sport is central to life in the Republic of Ireland, with a fierce passion for racing, soccer, Gaelic sports and more. And where there’s a game or a race, a chance to bet isn’t far away, with a gambling revenue of nearly $10 billion reported in Ireland in 2019 alone. That appetite ensures there are numerous ways for betting enthusiasts to get closer to the action they adore.

Is sports betting legal in Ireland?

The good news is that betting in the Republic of Ireland is completely legal. As long as you are betting with a licensed operator, you can be confident that betting is totally within the law in a country that takes a liberal outlook on people’s appetite for betting on sport.

There are numerous local companies who operate betting shops on licensed premises as well as online platforms. Irish bettors can also use the major UK bookmakers, who have licenses to offer markets to customers in the country via land-based sportsbooks, websites and apps. One difference from the UK is that Irish betting shops do not allow fixed-odds betting terminals on the premises.

It should also be noted that, while you can enjoy online casino games with the best Irish bookmakers, there are technically no physical casinos in the country. A legal loophole means that betting establishments do exist, thanks to a loophole in the laws. Casinos open to the public are banned, but private clubs are permitted to provide tables and betting machines to members.

Ireland is in the process of radically overhauling its betting legislation. Most of the laws governing the sector were passed in 1931 and 1956, so the Irish parliament is drawing up a set of modern regulations aimed at protecting the modern consumer. The laws have already been updated once recently, in 2015. This enabled offshore sportsbooks and exchanges to become integrated into Irish licensing policies and taxation requirements.

Responsible gambling has become a major focus for the best betting sites in Ireland. Assistance is provided for people who feel their gambling is becoming a problem, while the Irish betting industry has supported Responsible Gambling Week. The modern, forward-thinking approach to gambling means there are numerous options for people wanting to enjoy online betting in Ireland. Prominent and recognizably Irish brands command loyal followings. Many UK operators with an international reach also have a good standing in Ireland.

Ultimately, this is a nation where betting is very popular, and the people who run the country do not stand in the way of that appetite. Gambling revenue of nearly $10billion was reported in Ireland in 2019 alone, a figure that competes well with that of much larger nations.

What odds format is used in Ireland?

Fractional odds

When you visit the best Irish bookmakers, you will see their odds are expressed in a fractional format. This is one of three different ways in which odds are presented across the world of betting.

If you want to bet on Ireland to win the Six Nations, you might be quoted odds of 2/1. That means if you stake $100, you will win $200 – plus your stake. So, if Ireland become champions, your return will be $300.

This is in contrast to decimal odds, which are used across much of Europe. On the same example, Ireland’s odds would be expressed as 3.0 and your return would be the same.

The third form of odds is American odds, as used most frequently in North America. In the above example, Ireland would be +200, meaning if you stake $100 you get $200 back – plus your stake – when they win. You can compare all three formats using our free online odds calculator.

Top sports in Ireland

Horse racing

Horse racing is a huge industry in the Republic of Ireland. and one of the major centers of this global sport. Horses bred, owned and trained in Ireland have been sent out and won many of the biggest prizes in the world. These include the leading races at the Cheltenham Festival, the Grand National at Aintree and more.

Irish horses, trainers and jockeys, like Ruby Walsh and Sir Tony ‘AP’ McCoy, are household names far beyond the shores of their native land. Horse racing is, not surprisingly, by far the most popular sport to bet on in the country. More than half of all the wagers taken by Irish bookmakers are placed on racing.

Ireland sports betting FAQs

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