Do Irish People Love to Gamble?

While gambling is an activity popular in many places all over the globe, there are simply some nations that like to place wagers more often. If you’re looking to learn more about Irish people and specifically if they like to gamble, you’ll be delighted to hear that they are a gambling nation. As a matter of fact, they are among the countries that gamble the most in the world. But how did this come to be? Here is everything you need to know in terms of the Irish and gambling.

The gambling laws in Ireland

Let’s begin with the gambling laws in Ireland. The main pieces of legislation are the 1931 Betting Act, the 1956 Gaming and Lotteries Act, and the amendments that followed, such as the 2015 amendment of the Betting Act that mentions online gambling.

These laws state that operating a brick-and-mortar casino is illegal. However, many operators have found a loophole that allows them to run private clubs that resemble casinos and offer similar games, including slots and even some table games. There is also talk of the Gaming Control Bill that intends to make land-based casinos legal, but it has not been passed as of 2022 and it’s unlikely it will be in the future. In terms of sports betting, it’s been legal since 1854 while providers need a license to operate.

On the other hand, online gambling is legal. However, operators need a license from the Revenue Commissioners, but there is no licensing regime in place. With that in mind, online casinos in Ireland are non-existent while there are online sports betting platforms available. That being said, offering and promoting gaming products online is against the law.

Furthermore, seeing as how Ireland is in the European Union, some EU gambling directives such as Article 56 TFEU as well as Article 8 of Directive 98/34/EC also apply. That means that, while Ireland has no online casinos of its own, it is not able to block operators from other EU countries, nor prosecute players that use them.

The rise of the gambling industry

While the activity has been popular in Ireland for ages, the fact that the sector experienced a big boost during the last few years does not come as a surprise. For example, the past two years have been marked by the global pandemic, which came with various measures including social distancing and staying at home. That meant that people had to look for new sources of entertainment and online casinos and sports betting came in really handy. Fortunately, it was easy to find the top source of gambling & online casino information in Ireland and decide on the best operator to join.

Being able to play casino games and bet on sports when at home or while on the go is a big advantage of the online approach, which will ensure the popularity of this activity for the years to come. Plus, as it’s available not only in land-based form but also on various devices, it’s approachable to a much wider audience that might not have a local betting shop.

The most popular forms of gambling

When it comes to the most popular forms of gambling in Ireland, various kinds have found interested players. For example, there will always be an audience for sports betting. From football and rugby to everything in between, placing some wagers on a team or player is always fun. As the Irish are very sociable and love a good drink, gathering in a local betting shop to watch a game is one of the best ways to spend the day, which means that sports betting is not going anywhere.

As they also have access to various online casinos, Irish people also love playing slot games as well as various card games like poker and blackjack. Roulette is a popular option as well.

Bingo and lottery are legal as well, but there is an Irish National Lottery monopoly. An exception is made for bingo halls operated by charities and non-profit companies. Online bingo and lottery are not regulated and players are free to use foreign platforms.

Fun facts

Finally, let’s go over some fun facts regarding gambling and Irish people.

For one, do you know the origin of the phrase “luck of the Irish”? It is actually not Irish at all but an American one. It was kind of a derisive saying that Irish and Irish American miners were finding success during the gold and silver rush only by sheer luck.

Then, in case you’re not convinced that the Irish like to gamble, just take a look at the fact that €9.8 billion was wagered in 2019 by the Irish people, according to the Irish Chronicle newspaper. This is an astounding achievement for a country of just over five million people. Ireland is only behind Australia and Singapore when it comes to spending per capita. What is more, almost 70% of adults engage in some sort of gambling activity.

As you can see, the Irish really like their wagers. With betting being either legal or in a legally grey zone, the chances are very low of Irish people ever forgoing this fun activity.

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