Unveiling The Phenomenon: The Pervasive Rise Of Online Gambling in Ireland

Though it’s not much of a surprise that online gambling is on the rise all over the world, there are definitely some countries that are taking it more seriously than others. These regions are experiencing major innovations in technology and gaming, and are seeing a massive surge of players enter the digital realm of online casinos and sports booking.

This includes both veteran bettors migrating from live casinos to online apps as well as younger folks who are getting their first taste of gambling via their computer, smartphone or tablet. One such country that is making huge waves is Ireland.

While many online casinos can be found right off the bat using resources like Irishluck.ie, it’s important to get a sense as to why online gambling has become such a sensation.

The history and culture of gambling in Ireland

Like with many countries, gambling dates back centuries in Ireland. Whether it is tabletop games, card games or horse race betting, gambling has been a part of Irish culture for as long as anyone can remember. Gambling is a big part of bar culture, charities, ceremonies, parties and several other social events that make up the fabric of the country’s culture.

This helps explain why Ireland in particular has seen such a big surge in the rise of online gambling customers. Because the country has been so immersed in gambling for so many generations, it was only logical and expected that the Irish people would be attracted to the idea of online gambling, especially in post-Covid days.

The gambling laws of Ireland

Many Irish people will tell you that Ireland has some rather complicated gambling laws, and this is quite true. Several important gambling laws in Ireland have been passed over the past century, and they have had a big impact on how online gambling was perceived in a legal sense for many years.

Part of that complication is due to the fact that gambling rules weren’t always headed by the government. This is why Ireland started experiencing stricter laws in the middle of the 20th century, as the Irish government was still bent on cracking down on illegal casinos, bettors and anything considered to be connected to the black market.

The first major gambling law of the 20th century was the 1926 Betting Act, which finally put gambling legislation in the hands of the government. Street bookies could no longer run games and only establishments with government-issued licenses could offer gambling services.

Another major law was the Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1956, which banned all forms of lotteries except those run by charities. This is another instance of the Irish government continuing to have an iron fist of control over how gambling rules operate, and it helped set a precedent that would remain for decades.

Is online gambling legal in Ireland?

Though it took a long time, online gambling finally became legalized in Ireland in 2015, when many betting acts of the 20th century were reformed and amended. This, of course, still only applies to gambling vendors, online casinos and sportsbooks who acquire sanctioned licenses that are legally issued by the government.

Despite the complexity of old Irish gambling laws, these amended acts in 2015 apply to a variety of gambling games, including poker, roulette, horse race betting and bingo or lottery games. The fact that this all happened in one year – even though all these different games were regulated by their own unique legislations – was quite impressive and unprecedented for the Irish people.

How online gambling became huge in Ireland

With Ireland’s specific positive cultural attitude and strict negative laws towards gambling over the centuries, the country has certainly had a unique set of viewpoints towards gambling. As some people have suspected, this unique history has likely played a role in why modern online gambling is now so popular there.

There are many arguments people can make about the rise of online gambling, such as more advanced data-driven analytics, the sense of convenience, the improvements in marketing, the social distancing caused by the Coronavirus pandemic and so on. The problem is that these reasons are too generalized – they can apply to nearly anywhere in the world. So, what makes Ireland so special?

For one thing, Ireland legalized online gambling sooner than other countries. While many countries started allowing online gambling around 2019, Ireland was on the ball back in 2015, making them one of the earliest countries to do so. This gives them a head start of several years over most other nations, including the United States.

One can expect the old, repressive laws Ireland used to have to be partly responsible for the modern push towards online gambling. With so many generations of cracking down with strict enforcement, it’s not too surprising to see the opposite effect come out in full force, like a pendulum swinging, returning to the opposite side of its arc with maximum speed.

Another big factor is that Irish gamblers are more likely to gamble while they are on the move, thanks to advancements in smartphones. While many people probably envisioning themselves gambling from the comfort of their home on a computer or tablet, Irish bettors are disproportionately more likely to place wages and bets when not at home, meaning they are more likely to use betting apps more often and at a bigger variety of locations away from home.

Currently, online bets make up about 50% of all gambling transactions in Ireland, which is undeniably a high ratio. Within the next couple of years, experts are expecting that number to rise to 60%. The projections are clear: online gambling has been on the rise for nearly a decade and the surge is showing no signs of letting up any time soon.

Should the online gambling landscape of Ireland be affected by any new developments, you can be sure to find those events covered when the time comes.