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Online Gaming in Ireland (Republic)

Authored by - Ramparts (Last updated June 2024)



Ireland (Republic) Online Gaming Overview

Partially Regulated
The online market is partially regulated with a light touch licensing / registration system applying only to the betting sector.

Gambling regulation in the Republic of Ireland is still in the process of maturing and currently has no central legislation codifying the relevant laws and regulations, which are instead contained across various Acts. The central pieces of legislation include: Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956; the Betting Act 1931 and the National Lottery Act 1986.

The Irish government published its General Scheme of Gambling Regulation Bill on 2 December 2022 which seeks to modernise the country’s regulatory framework. The Bill was subsequently amended by the select committee of Dail Eireann on 11 July 2023 and is now in its fourth stage, where these amendments arising out of the select committee will be considered by the Irish parliament (the Dáil).

The Republic of Ireland is yet to establish a dedicated regulatory body responsible for overseeing the gambling industry as a whole. This fragmented approach has led to ineffective and inconsistent approach of licensing, compliance, enforcement, consumer protection and protection of vulnerable persons. To combat this, the Irish government has indicated within the Bill, that will create such a regulatory body which is intended to be operational by 2024. As a consequence of the current lack of a centralised regulator for the gambling industry, regulatory functions such as enforcement and licensing are assumed by various departments in the Irish state’s public infrastructure.

Under the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956, ‘gaming’ is defined as “playing a game (whether of skill or chance or partly of skill and partly of chance) for stakes hazarded by the players”. Given this broad definition of “gaming”, skilled games do not have their own separate accommodation in Irish law and is instead incorporated into the general definition of “gaming”. There is a general prohibition on the provision of such ‘gaming’, however, there is currently a substantial grey market for such activity. Betting services are specifically governed under the Betting Act 1931 (as amended), whilst the National Lottery Act 2013 is the primary legislation which governs Ireland’s privately monopolised National Lottery. Smaller scale lotteries may be operated in limited circumstances with a permit or licence, the granting of which is governed by the Gaming and Lotteries Act.

Irish law does not distinguish between remote and non-remote gambling in much of its legislation, though efforts to do so have been noted for example in amendments to the Betting Act made in 2015. This means that where different gambling types are currently permitted, and in some cases licensed and regulated, such provisions in the law are generally considered to govern both the land-based as well as the online form (where applicable). Gambling types currently regulated in Ireland include betting (both sports and on animal racing) and lottery games. Casino games including poker, whether played online or through land-based establishments, are still unregulated. Although Irish gambling laws are generally unsophisticated and outdated compared to those of neighbouring jurisdictions, some large operators have chosen to establish themselves there in a substantial way. However, the Bill which comprises 9 Parts and 218 sections is the most significant reform of gambling legislation in Ireland since the formation of the State. For more information on the intricacies of the Bill, and what it will mean in practice, see the Future Outlook section.

Market Size
The gambling ecosystem in Ireland includes a range of stakeholders and activities including the National Lottery, shop and on course betting, bingo halls, slot or gaming machines and private members clubs. It includes both land based and online types of gambling. The national gambling industry continues to grow in revenue each year and has expanded from traditional outlets such as horse and greyhound tracks into sports betting and the online sphere. In 2019, the Department of Justice and Equality noted that the industry had an estimated annual value of EUR8 billion.

Sections 67 and 67A of the Finance Act for 2002 provides for a Betting Duty at a rate of 2% in respect of every bet entered into by bookmakers with persons in the State including bets entered into by remote means. In addition, section 67B of the 2002 Act provides that remote betting intermediaries are liable to Betting Intermediary Duty, at the rate of 25%, on commission charges. The government reported the following Betting Duty and Betting Intermediary Duty receipts in the years 2019, 2020, and 2021:

Retail Betting Online Betting Betting Intermediary Total
2019 51,889,431 40,622,117 2,501,108 95,012,656
2020 39,021,093 44,935,012 2,815,335 86,771,440
2021 25,280,000 59,710,000 4,140,000 89,130,000

Approx. ​​60% of Ireland’s 4.90 million people participate in online gambling on a regular basis, making it the ninth most popular gambling destination on the European continent. Irish gamblers lost a total of GBP 1.36 billion in total in 2020, amounting to an average loss of GBP 300 for every single adult in the country. A report, published by Ireland’s Economic & Social Research Institute (ESRI) in October 2023 provided an insight into the patterns of consumption for gambling products by Irish consumers and found that 130,000 people in Ireland could be considered problem gamblers, a figure which is ten times higher than previous estimates. The report is likely to lend support to the more stringent measures proposed in the Bill, particularly regarding advertisements and inducements (set out below in Marketing section).

The report found that the most popular forms of gambling were lotteries and scratch cards., followed by betting on horses, dogs and other sports, with 28.3% of overall spend on gambling accounted for by 3.3% of the population.

Sports betting continues to be the most popular online gambling sector in Ireland, accounting for around 41% of the industry.

Competitive Landscape
As of June 2023, there were 233 licensed land-based bookmakers in operation and 765 Irish betting shop outlets in Ireland. You can access the register of licensed land based bookmakers here.

As of 1st August 2023, there were 52 remote bookmaking licensees. The top 5 online sports betting sites are:

  • BoyleSports
  • Paddy Power
  • Ladbrokes
  • Bet365
  • Coral

There is a register of remote bookmakers.


Ireland has their own unique sports, these include hurling, camogie and Gaelic football. The oversight for which is managed by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA).

Each county has their own team and the All-Ireland Senior football and hurling championship for (GAA) hosts incredible numbers.

Top 5 Key attractions and challenges

  • A key attraction for establishing a business in Ireland are the low rates of corporation tax, levied at 12.5% on profits generated. From December 2023 onwards, Ireland will apply a two-pillar approach to corporation tax, in line with the OECD agreement. 12.5% corporate tax will continue to apply to businesses with revenues less than EUR750 million and companies whose annual turnover exceeds this, will pay the global minimum of 15%
  • Ireland is considered an IT hub with excellent infrastructure, providing further incentives to operators which choose to establish themselves in ultra-developed cities such as Dublin
  • The Irish education system is similarly well regarded, meaning operators can take advantage of a highly competent and skilled talent pool
  • Culturally – The Irish are big into betting but less so for Casino as land-based presence is minimal however with the development of new technologies it is making online gambling and the casino industry more accessible. Furthermore, the Irish ministers are looking to expand the land-casino industry
  • Tourism in Ireland is built around the Irish culture and the country. Six million tourists visit Ireland annually, thus creating 180,000 jobs and generating EUR 3.9 billion for the Irish economy


  • Delay in the licensing rollout
  • VAT imposed on unlicensed operators
  • Relatively high cost of living

Licensing & Regulation

Onerous regime / Unregulated (Restricted)

Ireland (Republic) Online Gaming Licensing & Regulation

Licence Triggers
For online betting any targeting of Irish customers will trigger the need for a licence. Whereas the provision of online casino offerings is tolerated even if technically prohibited. However, this has not been tested where there is also heavy offline marketing.

Array/Types of Licence
Licensing regimes exist only in respect of betting services and lotteries, as...

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Irregular / Mixed impact

Ireland (Republic) Online Gaming Enforcement

Regulating bodies
Only betting and lottery products are regulated in Ireland.

The Revenue Commissioners has authority to process licence applications and initiate enforcement actions both against digital and land-based forms of betting. The department of justice has regulatory oversight on gambling

The regulator of the National Lottery regulates lottery in both digital and land-based for the national lottery, An...

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Ireland (Republic) Online Gaming Marketing

The marketing of gambling products in Ireland (aside from the National Lottery) is regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI), and since 1 March 2016 has been subject to the Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing Communications in Ireland (the Code).

The Code places restrictions and obligations on the ways in which gambling products are marketed, and amongst...

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Ireland (Republic) Online Gaming Fees

The only forms of gambling regulated in the Republic of Ireland are betting and lottery games. Lottery games are broadly subject to a private monopoly under the terms of the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956. The Act states that a single licence can be awarded to the operator of the National Lottery, but there is no provision prescribing a fixed...

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Ireland (Republic) Online Gaming Taxes

Licence Taxes
Betting duty is the only gambling-specific tax which operators may be subject to in Ireland. Betting duty is levied at a rate of 2% on wagers staked, and will apply to operators offering betting services online or in land-based establishments. Given that betting duty is levied on stakes, tax obligations expressed in reference to operators’ gross gambling...

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Future Outlook


Ireland (Republic) Online Gaming Future Outlook

On 2 December 2022, the Irish Government published The Gambling Regulation Bill (the Bill). The Bill follows on from the publication of the General Scheme of Gambling Regulation Bill, which was published in October 2022. The Bill compromises 9 Parts and 218 sections and is the most significant reform of gambling legislation in Ireland since the formation of the State....

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Legal Expert


Office locations Gibraltar
Based in Gibraltar, Ramparts law firm specialises in providing advice on Gibraltar, UK, Irish and EU law.

Ramparts assists gaming, payments and crypto asset businesses with their global cross-border regulatory issues and strategies, as well as corporate and commercial matters (including licensing, contracts, AML/CTF requirements and finding suitable business partners and payment service providers).

Ramparts was established as a law firm in 2012 to support Gibraltar’s gaming, e-payments and fintech industries. In 2015, Ramparts established a fiduciary business under the same brand. Their fiduciary team assists clients with compliance support, accounts and tax filings, company administration, establishing and managing trusts and private foundations and funds administration.

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