Gambling is very popular all over the world. In particular, many countries across Europe seem to enjoy gambling.
Two of the main gambling market leaders in Europe are the UK and their neighbour Ireland, however, the two countries do have very differing gambling laws. The UK is home to very relaxed gambling laws, whereas Ireland is well-known for online gambling habits however land-based gambling is fully prohibited, so land-based casinos are only allowed to operate on Irish soil if registered as a private club.
Gambling across Ireland has grown in popularity over the last few years and online gambling is the main reason for this growth.
In this article, we will trace back the origins of gambling in Ireland, along with the gambling laws on the island. We will then discuss online gambling and how it has developed over the years.
We will also explore some of the reasons behind the popularity of online casinos in Ireland and the future of gambling in the country.
Ireland’s gambling laws
Laws concerning gambling in Ireland appeared from 1854 onwards. The first one was the Betting Act of 1854 which helped regulate gambling in Ireland. It was amended in later years, notably in 2015, to adjust to changes in the gambling industry. In 1956, the first law was passed that banned “commercial casinos” in Ireland.
This law became known as the Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1956. Of course, this did not prevent Irish gamblers from playing. Casinos were banned but clubs, gatherings and salons were not, which meant that individuals could rename their casinos to avoid the ban.
To this day, casino gambling is not officially legal in Ireland. A bill is currently being reviewed and might be passed by Parliament in the coming years.
It is known as the Gambling Control Bill of 2013 and would permit “up to 40 legal land-based casinos with up to 15 tables each”.
It would also help regulate casino gambling in the country and make it safer for players.
Although casino gambling is not officially legal, online casino gambling is. Irish gamblers can enjoy online gambling as long as the online casinos are licensed.
Online casinos can obtain a licence from Ireland’s Revenue Commissioners. The Revenue has the power to hand out licences and “maintains registers […] of gaming licences”.
Because of these laws, online casinos are becoming more and more popular and Irish gamblers’ go-to venues.
The popularity of online casinos
A study found that 70% of Irish adults participated in gambling activity in 2020. That same study suggests that the most popular gambling games in Ireland are “lotto and scratch cards”.
Online casinos can offer these games along with a range of other games.
The popularity of online casinos in Ireland is linked to the expansion and development of the internet. Without the internet, online casinos would never have existed in the first place.
This is why online casinos only became popular in the early 2000s and became licenced from that point onwards.
Before then, the internet was still new, and businesses were slowly converting to it. When both consumers and businesses became comfortable using the internet, more industries transitioned online, including casino games.
Because of the Irish laws that ban physical casinos, online casinos quickly became popular on the island as this was the only legal way that the Irish could play casino games.
Online casinos are also popular for other reasons. For example, they give gamblers more freedom to try out new games. They also give players the option to visit different casinos without having to physically move.
Finally, online gambling gives individuals the opportunity to play whenever and wherever they want.
These aspects are well-suited to the 21st-century lifestyle and individuals’ demands for quicker, safer and more convenient options.
The virtual world caters to those needs, which is why online casinos are so popular.
Another reason why online casinos are so popular is the range of games they offer. Because online casinos do not use physical slot machines or tables, they can easily add new content and offer new games without being limited due to space.
There are a lot of new and exciting games to choose from in online casinos. And, if players get tired of one casino, they can always visit another online casino with a simple tap of their finger.
This is another reason why gamblers love online casinos so much. There is always something new to discover.
The future of gambling in Ireland
It appears that online casinos are here to stay. They are conveniently easy to use and access.
They offer many different games at attractive prices and many of them include bonuses and exciting features.
The gambling scene in Ireland could still change over the next few years or decades. For example, commercial casinos could be allowed on the island if the Gambling Control Bill is finally passed by Parliament.
New laws could change the gambling scene but, despite any potential changes, online casinos and online gambling will likely remain the most popular gambling venues.
This is because consumers’ habits are difficult to change, and Irish gamblers have grown accustomed to online gambling.
Laws could change the landscape of gambling to a certain degree but would struggle to eradicate online gambling.
Online gambling will always remain more convenient and accessible to many Irish gamblers.
In this article, we’ve presented some of the gambling laws in Ireland and the history of gambling on the island. We’ve also discussed online gambling and some of the reasons behind its popularity.
We then explored the potential future of gambling in Ireland and how future laws could change the country’s gambling scene.
Overall, it appears that online gambling is here to remain in Ireland and will always be the preferred choice even if land-based casinos were to become legalised. It has become part of Ireland’s gambling heritage and gamblers’ playing habits.