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The number of betting shops in Ireland is still dropping while an increasing number of gamblers are switching to Irish betting sites.

Should you wish to bet on the Galway Races, the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship or one of the many other sporting events that take place on the Emerald Isle every year, we have found some best online bookmakers for punters in leprechaun land.

Best Betting Sites in Ireland

888sport Review
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William Hill Sports Review
Open on UK high-streets since 1934 Comprehensive coverage of all sports Leader in mobile and live betting Multitude of languages and currencies
Terms and Conditions apply.
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Best Bookmakers for Irish Punters – March 2024

Flag of Ireland

Ireland’s Sports Betting Laws

In Ireland, the Betting Act of 1931 was the first legislation in relation to gambling. This act was about regulation and taxation in respect of any bookmakers on-course and retail throughout the country. Later, Gaming and Lotteries Act was implemented in 1956.

Even though this law permitted sports betting and lotteries, it criminalized casinos. However, there were a few exceptions in the legislation which allowed some private clubs to provide casino-like services. Consequently, these clubs flourished whereas huge gambling facilities suffered as they could not keep up.

In response to the obsolescence of the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956 in view of its unsuitability for the internet age, there was a need to introduce the Betting (Amendment) Act 2015. Consequently, online bookies were required to apply for remote operating license whether they had an office in that particular country or not.

A 150,000 euro penalty is imposed on unlicensed betting sites targeting Irish punters, which can be doubled for repetition.

After that, things could continue to be adjusted in Ireland’s betting sector in 2021, as the Irish Government has declared its intention to create its own gambling regulator. This may result in licensed bookmakers being required to have a physical outlet within the country even if they were operating under a remote license consistent with Betting (Amendment) Act 2015.

Features of the Best Betting Sites in Ireland

We have reviewed hundreds of Irish punters accepting sports betting sites at SBO.net. In our investigations, we assess everything from the kind of games you can place a bet on as well as how long it takes to withdraw money.

Upon reviewing many sites, it became obvious that the best Irish betting sites had several things in common. We can only approve a website if it doesn’t have the following features.

Gaelic Games Betting

If you were raised in Ireland, it is almost inevitable that you will like betting on some of games organized by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). The best sites for gambling on Gaelic sports offer all the major fixtures of Gaelic football, hurling, handball and rounders, such as the prestigious All-Ireland finals.

Daily Racing Markets

As many as 355 meetings take place at 26 racecourses in Ireland annually with millions of people attending them. That’s why Irish racing offers you thrilling betting prospects almost every day, including the leading Irish horsing events like the Irish Derby, the Irish Champion Stakes and the Irish Grand National.

Free Bets and Bonuses

In Ireland, online betting firms are in tight competition and have to offer very attractive free bets and sign up bonuses. That is why, when you open an account with them, they do not just roll out the red carpet for you but also give you more incentives that will make sure you stay loyal to them.

Lots of Banking Methods

Funding a player account and withdrawing money from it can be done in a twinkle of an eye. Of course, credit cards and debit cards are the most popular payment options for Irish gamblers for obvious reasons. Paysafecards, Skrill, NETELLER, PayPal and other electronic wallets are also commonly used in gambling transactions.

Mobile Compatibility

We suggest Irish betting sites that offer a smooth mobile betting experience. Regardless of whether you are using an iOS or Android operating system, you can install a specific application on your mobile device or perform transactions via your browser. Just some few taps on your smartphone or tablet is all it takes to place bets with these bookies.

Cash Out Feature

Thinking of calling it quits? Are you thinking about cashing out because your bet is a winner and you want to ensure that you receive some profit? With our preferred Irish betting sites, you can easily withdraw money by clicking on the relevant button. Although all the platforms give room for withdrawal of earnings, we tend to lean towards the bookmakers who have auto cash out and partial cash out features.

Irish Betting Sites vs Retail Betting Shops

Within the Emerald Isle, over 800 retail betting shops are scattered about that would mean probably you live around one or two. In every high street in Ireland, it is common to find betting shop signs of Paddy Power, Boyle Sports and William Hill who dominate the industry.

Nevertheless, there are several reasons why millions of bettors are now opting for Irish betting sites over brick-and-mortar bookies. The positives and negatives of online gambling compared to wagering with a physical bookmaker include the following:

Pros

Convenience

At any time or place, you can enter the Irish betting websites. It doesn’t matter if you are in your local watching a game over a pint of Guinness or just at home; but logging into your account and placing bets is possible within seconds. You don’t need to travel long distances or join lines for submission of your betting slip.

Free Bets

When did you last walk into a betting shop and get given a free bet? These are offered by online bookmakers to welcome new customers in the form of free bets and deposit bonuses. Even after your first deposit, these promotions will continue to come in to thank you for your loyalty.

Better Odds

The top gambling sites on which Irish bettors can play have higher odds than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. This is because scores of online betting companies compete against each other for your business, while only a handful of retail bookmakers vie for customers within your neighbourhood. Place bets online and enjoy bigger odds.

Availability

The hours for trading in retail betting shops are limited. On the other hand, online betting sites operate all day and night including on Christmas day. Whether it is in darkness or brightness, a simple procedure of placing more selections to your virtual bet slip then you click on confirm button to save the wager.

Cons

Social Interaction

The unique reason as to why some people would prefer retail betting shops over Irish betting sites is the interaction with other customers. You can talk about your bets and get advice from others. It’s true that you can communicate with others through internet forums, but just isn’t like talking to fellow punters in person for sure.

Gaelic football

What Sports Are Popular for Betting in Ireland?

Ireland is truly a unique country when it comes to sports. For example, in the Republic of Ireland, people have diverse tastes and interests in terms of their choices for sporting events.

Gaelic Football

Gaelic football is Ireland’s national sport. It is a blend of rugby and soccer. On the other hand, it’s the most loved game in the emerald island where it has been played for hundreds of years. Over 2,200 GAA clubs can be found all over Ireland which makes Gaelic football occupy more than thirty percent of all sports attendances in the country followed by hurling and camogie.

The All-Ireland Men’s Senior Football Championship is the top tournament in Gaelic football, the sport’s premier competition that began in 1887 and features Ireland’s leading male county teams. Sam Maguire Cup is always awarded to the champion. Up to now, Kerry has been the most successful team with 37 trophies; however, since 2015 Dublin has been unstoppable on five consecutive occasions.

Hurling

As I mentioned earlier, there is another cultural event that is also quite popular in Ireland called hurling. Hurling is known to fill about a quarter of all the sporting events attended by people. It has been played for over 3,000 years and its roots can be traced back to prehistoric times. The idea of this game is for each player to have a wooden stick called ‘hurley’ and strive to hit the ball named ‘sliotar’ between the posts guarding their opponents’ net or above it (over the crossbar).

Hurling in its various forms is a very fast and exciting game. It has not become popular in many countries, but it remains widely supported in Ireland. Each year, twelve teams play each other for the Liam MacCarthy Cup, during the All-Ireland Championship. Kilkenny still holds the record of having won this championship 36 times.

Horse Racing

In Ireland, horse racing is a very popular spectator sport. The country’s best racehorses and breeders as well as most talented trainers are all based in this Emerald Isle. The number one jump jockey ever Tony McCoy originates from Northern Ireland, and the enthusiasm of Irish people can be seen every year when thousands visit England for four-day Cheltenham festival.

Ireland has twenty six racecourses. Ballybrit Racecourse is one of the most iconic sporting venues in Ireland dating back to 1869. It is where Galway Races are held annually on the last Monday of July that attract a lot of attention. The Irish Derby, the Irish Champion Stakes, the Irish Oaks, the Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Irish Grand National are among other big racing events held in Ireland.

Football

Ireland has two national sports and in addition to them, it is a football-loving country. Financial motivation makes the league of Ireland not the best because most top players go to England or other areas.

In the English Premier League history, there have been so many Irish players, some of whom include Roy Keane, Damien Duff and Shane Duffy.

It was in 1985 when the League of Ireland was founded and there are only 10 teams in the league. Dundalk has won eight championships, a feat that include a back-to-back triumphs in the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

Ireland’s national side has qualified three times for as many World Cups and European Championships. In case it was not for Thierry Henry who shattered the dreams of Ireland when he scored a handball against them in the 2009 playoff match against France, Ireland would have made four appearances at the world cup.

Other Sports the Irish Love to Bet On

Cricket

The Ireland cricket team, also referred to as the Men in Green, participates in all three forms of international cricket. In one-day internationals (ODIs), Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie have been among the country’s big hitters hence Ireland has enjoyed a lot of success in Twenty20 International (T20I) matches lately.

Golf

Ireland has a large number of golf courses, over 350 18-hole courses, and therefore it is not surprising that the Irish are very fond of betting on golf. On the PGA Tour, there have been several winning performances from Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry among others.

Greyhound Racing

The Irish adore a night at the dogs, particularly when it comes to Shelbourne Park and the Irish Greyhound Derby. With sponsorship deals from bookmakers meaning that there is always a six figure pay out guaranteed for the victor, this race is also one of greyhound racing’s “Big Three”.

MMA

Thanks to Conor McGregor’s success, MMA betting has become very popular over the last few years in Ireland. He is accompanied by an Irish folk ballad known as The Foggy Few, as he walks into the Octagon and becomes the first UFC fighter to ever win titles in two weight categories at once.

Hurling match

History of Sports Betting in Ireland

There has been a proliferation of betting shops and on-course gambling in Ireland over the years, with some famous stories of punters taking on the bookmakers.

Barney Curley single-handedly tops the list of thorns in the flesh for Ireland’s bookmakers throughout its sports gambling annals.

The cunning expert gambler schemed and devised strategies for outsmarting betting companies during his passionate involvement in horse racing for a long period; some of his successes will always be remembered as legends.

Betting shops in Ireland are not the same as those in the United Kingdom. FOBTs are gambling machines where one can place bets on various casino games, slots and virtual racing.

It is worth mentioning that these machines allowed players to lose a lot of money very quickly and became unpopular with people for their addictive nature. The main advantage of this method is that it has the potential to bring about high income levels. However, even before the new limit was imposed, they still generated huge sums of money for UK companies. Irish authorities were quick to respond by outlawing FOBTs in 2013.

Ireland Betting FAQs

Which betting sites are best for Irish punters?

You will be spoilt for choice when you bet online because the world’s leading bookies all welcome Irish punters. To help you find the cream of the crop in the blink of an eye, we have created a list of best Irish betting sites. These sites are renowned for dishing out free bets and offering countless in-play events.

Is online betting legal in Ireland?

Absolutely! The Betting (Amendment) Act 2015 means that any operators accepting bets from Irish punters are subjected to licensing and taxation regardless of whether they have a physical presence in the country or not.

Are there any new Irish betting sites?

Of course! New betting sites spring up all the time, and virtually of them accept Irish punters. These sites offer extremely generous promotions and competitive odds in a bid to compete with more established sites. If there is a new betting site worth knowing about, you can rest assured that we’ll let you know.
Q.

Are winnings from sports betting taxed in Ireland?

A.
No, Irish punters are exempt from paying any tax on their sports betting winnings. Even if you’re a professional punter, you won’t have to pay tax because betting is classed as a hobby rather than a trade.
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