Irish Betting: Bookmakers and Market Overview
As a nation with a rich sporting tradition and a genuine passion for gambling, Ireland boasts a diverse and competitive betting market. While the country’s betting landscape offers much, punters face challenges when using British bookmakers operating in the Irish market. These bookies have limited offerings and stricter verification procedures because of the laws and restrictions imposed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission.
For those seeking an optimal betting experience without such restrictions, we have curated a list of the best Irish bookmakers not on Gamstop. We selected after carefully evaluating various factors, such as odds competitiveness, range of markets offered, user experience, and customer service. Let’s explore the country’s betting industry and its top platforms.
Overview of the Irish Betting Market
Gambling had woven itself into the Irish fabric, with its roots stretching back to the Middle Ages when wagers were placed on traditional stick-and-ball games and medieval board games like brandub. However, it wasn’t until the 16th and 17th centuries that gambling gained significant traction.
Several factors contributed to its popularity during this period. Firstly, the rise in alcohol consumption and the establishment of public houses in Dublin provided an ideal setting for card games and other forms of gambling. Secondly, horse racing emerged as an official sport with a calendar of race meetings. Lastly, the English have a lax approach to governing, allowing gambling activities to thrive without much control.
With Ireland gaining independence from Britain in 1922, the Government managed the country’s affairs and began regulating the industry. The Betting Act of 1926 marked the first step towards regulating gambling, requiring a government-issued licence for those betting on sporting events. Five years later, the Betting Act of 1931 replaced the earlier legislation, relaxing specific prohibitions on commercial betting outlined in the British Betting Act of 1853.
The industry has grown since then. In fact, 2022 research on the Irish betting situation shows that over 50% of residents of legal age gambled twice that year. The most significant update to the gambling landscape was enacting the Betting (Amendment) Act 2015, which legalised online betting. According to this act, all remote bookmakers and betting agencies must obtain a licence before accepting wagers from the country’s residents.
Like the Irish, the UK has a thriving gambling market. However, it differs significantly from Ireland’s because of its regulatory framework. While Ireland embraces a more open and liberal approach to gambling, the UK’s regulations have tightened over the years, leading to some challenges in delivering products that satisfy the changing demands of bettors. If you keep up with the latest news, you’ll learn more about the Gambling Authority’s heavy restrictions on its licenced sites. This is why most UK bettors change bookmakers frequently.
Top Irish Bookmakers
With the flexible regulations regarding sports betting in Ireland, several bookmakers open their virtual doors to Irish bettors. However, some stand out from the competition with their offerings. Here are our top five picks:
Since its inception in 2020, MyStake has become a go-to gambling location for several punters. The platform stands out with its betting options, offering markets for over 30 sports, including popular and niche ones. Its live betting section isn’t short of excellent, as it streams events in real-time. There’s also a live game tracker for monitoring games. New customers on its platform can kickstart their time with a 100% welcome bonus capped at £500. To get the bonus, you must deposit at least £20, and there are multiple payment options you can use for this, including credit cards and cryptocurrencies.
Despite how betting differs in the UK and Ireland, Goldenbet serves both markets. It was launched in 2022, making it one of the newer bookmakers in the industry. Regardless of its youth, it offers betting options for over 35 sports with low margins on popular events. The platform is safe, as it works according to the laws of Curacao and employs third-party security features to protect users. In terms of payments, it supports multiple options to cater to different players. These include Visa, Mastercard, Bitcoin, and Litecoin. Fund your account with at least £20 as a new bettor, and you get 10% up to £500 as a welcome bonus.
Founded in 2022, Winstler is a Curacao-licenced bookmaker. The smooth and user-friendly interface are some of the top features of the platform, but what makes it stand out is its massive welcome bonus. First-time users get a matched deposit bonus worth up to £9,500. The offer is split across your first five deposits. In addition to a massive sign-up package, it boasts extensive sports coverage, with markets for over 15 sports. It supports safe payment methods and has responsive customer service via live chat and email.
This is another new kid on the block, as it began operations in 2022. Its Curacao-regulated operator is experienced; hence, the bookie has everything to keep punters returning for more. Whether you enjoy betting on popular games like football or lesser-known options like Rugby, the site has you covered. Its dark and sleek website is well-organized, making it easy to place bets. It has a five-part welcome offer, multiple payment methods, and 24/7 customer service. You can also check the Responsible Gambling page for comprehensive and detailed how-to guides on controlling your gaming habits.
Owned and operated by Ryker B.V., Freshbet is a relatively new online bookmaker that the Government of Curacao regulates. A visit to its sports betting lobby reveals thousands of betting markets across 30+ sports. You’ll find options for both pre-match and live betting. The platform includes a live streaming service, allowing you to watch games you’ve wagered on. Making payments on Freshbet is a breeze thanks to the availability of multiple gateways, including debit and credit cards, e-wallets, and cryptocurrencies. New customers are eligible for 100% up to £500 while existing ones can take advantage of free bets and other promotions.