Gambling in Ireland is casinos, arcades – regulated at a national level.
The Republic of Ireland (the capital Dublin) lies over most of the island, with the exception of the 6 counties of Ulster Province (Northern Ireland, UK). The Republic of Ireland is part of the EU, the official currency is the euro. The country has a population of 4.77 million.
Brief characteristics of gambling regulation in Ireland
This is the country with one of the most conservative gambling laws. Almost all types of gambling are banned or heavily restricted. There is no authority regulating gambling business in the country, licences for some types of gambling business are issued by the Department of Justice and Equality (http://www.justice.ie/).
Betting was legalised in 1931. In 1956 the Gaming and Lotteries Act was passed which effectively banned or restricted all other types of gambling. More recently, a new bill was introduced to liberalise the laws and create a regulator, but as of 2018 it has not been passed.
The paradox of the Irish market is that many outdated laws are simply not enforced and society lives up to the realities of the times (this is typical of the British Isles legal system in general). Since the 2000s, the first casinos appeared in the country, exploiting loopholes in the laws and being regulated by anti-money laundering legislation as “private clubs”.
That said, the Irish are quite free to play a variety of gambling games online. Only online BKs are officially permitted and licensed. Overall, the Irish are a very gambling nation, spending about €5 billion a year on gambling (more than 1,000 per resident). It is estimated that only 1-2% of this amount goes through official offline establishments.
The Republic of Ireland operates:
- National Lottery;
- A variety of lotteries;
- Online gambling, casinos;
- Poker, including sports poker;
- Betting, sports and other events.
- Slot machines
Slot machines were banned until 1970. A licence is obtained for each slot machine. The law limits the maximum wager on machines (6 shillings) and the maximum winnings (10 shillings). The law is obsolete simply by the fact of the introduction of the euro. The Gaming & Leisure Association of Ireland estimates there are over 20,000 machines in operation as of 2017, 6,700 of which are unlicensed (http://glai.ie/)
Online gaming for money (gambling) and casinos
Online gambling for money and online casinos are not licensed in Ireland, but nationals actively play on international resources licensed abroad (e.g. Isle of Man, Alderney, Malta or Gibraltar).
The game of poker is not regulated by law. Sport poker is well developed and popular tournaments are held.
Land-based casinos operate in the Republic under the guise of ‘private members’ gaming clubs’. There are 23 casinos in 4 cities: Limerick, Cork, Dun Dolk Dublin.