How Do They Compare to Other Countries?
Gambling, both online and in-person, is very common across Ireland. You won’t be hard-pressed to find local betting shops, or to find and download any number of online casinos or gambling apps.
But how do the online casino laws of Ireland compare to other countries across the world? Irish legislation on gambling is relatively loose, whereas other regions impose strict rules on both betting providers and customers.
What Are the Casino Laws in Ireland?
Gambling has been legal in Ireland since the Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1956, but there are lots of signs that forms of gambling have taken place in the country for hundreds of years. From this year onwards, basic regulations were put in place to protect gambling enthusiasts and gambling companies. Interestingly, the Act also outlawed retail casinos - a rule which is still in place in 2023. There are other acts that have been introduced since 1956, such as the Financial Act in the 70s, which mainly aimed to regulate slot machine businesses.
Virtually all forms of gambling have been legalized in Ireland, including (but not limited to!):
- Online casinos
- Slot machines
- Horse racing
- National lottery
Online Gambling in Ireland
Gambling online is very popular in Ireland, so much so that the Irish are amongst the top spenders in the world when it comes to online casinos and betting. The only countries that spend more than them per capita are Australia and Singapore.
Although in-person gambling is common across Ireland, more and more people are opting to place bets online, either on their phones or computers. In order from least to most, these are the types of betting that the Irish are loving:
- Slots and other gambling machines
- Sports betting (and other types of betting) on both domestic and international events
- Online gambling
Online gambling accounts for 60% of all betting in Ireland, which isn’t a surprise considering how much it has exploded globally in the last couple of years. Placing wagers online means users don’t have to visit their local betting shop to take part, and they can be assured that all of their finances and personal information is being handled safely and securely.
Ireland’s Laws on Online Casinos Compared to Other Countries’
The laws surrounding online casinos differ from country to country. Some parts of the world have outlawed online gambling completely, but more often the activity is allowed, but regulated.
Online casino laws in the USA differ depending on the state. In some, all online forms of gambling are outlawed, and residents have to use offshore services or travel elsewhere if they want to take part. In other states, online gambling is legal and there are countless providers to choose from!
States like Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania all allow their residents to play casino games online, as well as use sportsbooks, slot machines, and more - you name it!
Although Ireland spends a lot of money on gambling, the Australians take the cake. In total, the country drops about US$18 billion each year on gambling in its many forms. Lots of this money is spent in retail casinos and on slot machines, but there is a growing trend of online slots and casino games being used by gamblers in Australia. This trend is not specific to Aussies; online gambling is becoming one of the most common forms of the activity all over the world.
The legality of online casinos in Australia is ruled by the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001. The Act was put in place to stop unlicensed or unregulated gambling providers from taking advantage of users.
Gambling laws, online or otherwise, in the United Kingdom are pretty relaxed. Gambling legislation was only introduced relatively recently (in 2005), and virtually all forms of the practice are legal.
Gambling providers have to be licensed, and anyone taking part in casino games or gambling has to be 18 years old. Online gambling, both through casinos or sportsbooks, is incredibly popular in the UK. It’s been estimated that from remote casinos, betting, and bingo combined, £6.4 billion was recorded, the majority of which came from online casino games.
In the past few years, Singapore has started to be recognised as one of the top gambling destinations in the world. Casinos are permitted within resorts in Singapore, which has resulted in tourists and citizens alike being able to gamble in some luxurious and high-end locations.
However, online gambling laws are pretty strict in Singapore. The government has worked hard to integrate in-person gambling throughout the country, for the simple reason that it brings in a lot of tourism and revenue, but these efforts have not extended to online casinos. The only legal way to play online casino games is through using a licensed operator, like Singapore Pools.