Gambling in Ireland: an overview in 2023

The Republic of Ireland is a Northern European country with legalized gambling. It has over 20 land-based casinos, 900 sports betting shops as well as lottery, bingo and social gambling halls. The majority of establishments are located in the capital
The Republic of Ireland is a Northern European country with legalized gambling. It has over 20 land-based casinos, 900 sports betting shops as well as lottery, bingo and social gambling halls. The majority of establishments are located in the capital city of Dublin. Ireland is a member of the European Union and uses Euro as its currency.

Gambling laws in Ireland

Gambling in Ireland is centrally regulated. Casinos, betting shops and other venues have to comply with several laws and regulations:

All the laws apply throughout the state. Gambling business owners who fail to comply will be held accountable.

A peculiarity of the Irish gambling sector is that most of the laws and regulations were issued in the 20th century. As such, the gambling regulation system is in need of reforms and new amendments.

In 2022, the cabinet of ministers approved the publication of the Gambling Regulation Bill. The bill will revise gambling advertising and regulate all aspects of Internet gambling. Moreover, the legislation will establish a new government agency, the Gambling Regulatory Authority, which will oversee the Irish gambling industry.

Types of gambling in Ireland

As of today, the following forms of gambling are legal in the country:

  • Casino games, including slot machines, table games, roulette, blackjack, poker, and bingo.
  • Betting — on classic sports, horse racing, and fantasy sports.
  • Lotteries.
  • Social games with no real money prizes.

Slot machine operators must hold a license for the premises where machines are located.

Irish online casinos offer various types of gambling, such as video slots, table games, and poker. Users can also play realistic live games hosted by real professional dealers.

Gambling licensing in Ireland

Irish licenses are issued by the National Excise Licence Office as well as local authorities. In order to obtain a license, an operator is required to hold a gaming court certificate and meet a number of requirements.

Requirements for obtaining an Irish gambling license

Requirement Explanation
Residence in Ireland A person wishing to open a gambling establishment must be an Irish citizen or permanent residence permit holder. If the company is foreign, it must appoint a local director, whose domicile is in Ireland, and deal with the authorities on their behalf.
Opening of a bank account This must be done at one of the Irish state-owned banks. Foreign legal entities are only allowed to make payments through the payment providers that have been approved by the regulator.
Minimum share capital This depends on the type of license a company applies for.
Income declaration An operator is required to submit a monthly declaration giving details regarding income and the fees due.
Protection of minors Preventing people under 18 from gambling; strict control of promotional content.

A company seeking to start a gambling business in Ireland in 2023 must pay a state fee of €10,000 to €200,000, depending on the type of activity it intends to conduct.

A standard Irish gambling license lasts for two years. Regardless of the issue date, licenses expire at the end of the licensing period.

Gambling taxes in Ireland

Like any other business in Ireland, a gambling business is subject to taxation. The tax rates depend on the type of gambling activity offered. See the table below for tax percentages.

Gambling form Tax rate
Casinos VAT at a rate of 23% on customers’ winnings
Betting Excise duty at a rate of 2%
eGaming VAT at a rate of 23% on customers’ winnings
Lotteries Income tax at a rate of 12%

Remote betting intermediaries are obliged to pay a tax fee of 25%. In 2022, new changes came into force for slot machine hall owners. The taxable amount now consists of two components:

  • Value of the bets entered by gamblers into the common pool.
  • Value of the bets retained by eGaming operators.

Conclusion

Ireland is a country where virtually all gambling forms are allowed. However, most of the country’s gambling laws are outdated and in need of reform. In 2021, new legislation was introduced to create an independent body regulating gambling activities. The changes will also affect online gambling, licensing and advertising rules, and player protection policies. It is planned to implement all the measures by 2024.

Jan 16, 2023
Igor Rumyantsev
Igor is the Head of Banking and Licensing Department at GamingLicensing who has over 15 years of experience in the industry. He is responsible for game and payment system integration, iGaming product licensing, and B2B certification. Igor is an expert in the gambling sector and game licensing. He keeps a close watch on industry trends and is always open to new ideas that can improve GamingLicensing’s services and help our clients.

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