GAMBLING INDUSTRY GROWTH IN IRELAND

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For decades, the Irish have enjoyed gambling. You could say that it is a vital part of Irish culture. For many, there is nothing like going to the pub with your friends, having a drink, popping into the bookies next door, and sticking a few quid on a football accumulator or the horses. Since the introduction of the Gaming and Lotteries Act in 1956, Irish punters have enjoyed betting on various sports. With the introduction of the National Lottery in Ireland in 1986, that desire of ‘if you’re not in, you can’t win’ grew even stronger. But how much has the Irish gambling scene moved on since then? So Irish Casino likes to deal with the facts and figures, and this article will be no different. The team of experts is committed to providing Irish online casino fans with in-depth information on the Irish gambling industry. Here, we will assess how the market and demand for more ways to gamble in Ireland has grown and how it will continue to expand in the future.

Over the last number of years, there have been various changes in the Irish gambling scene. Regulations have become more relaxed than they were, and as a result, the market is far more accessible. Although Ireland is liberal in its gaming laws, gambling in casinos is not allowed. It has been prohibited since the passing of the Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1956. However, since then, and even today, casinos operate as ‘gambling clubs’, which are essentially casinos with a different name. With more than a dozen of these “clubs” in Ireland, Irish putters avail of a Vegas-like casino experience without having to travel too far. 

More recently, there has been a push to pass the Gambling Control Bill, both in 2013 and 2018. Former Irish Minister Alan Shatter first introduced this bill. The idea is that 40 casinos could be built within the country with a maximum of 15 tables within each. The bill also looks to expand the growth of online casinos too. Today, it is still under review. But if it were to be taken to the government properly and made law, it would be a massive win for the gambling industry in Ireland. 

Even though “conventional casinos” are prohibited in Ireland, nearly all other forms of betting are not, and in fact, are hugely popular. From horse racing, football, the lottery, and bingo games, many forms of betting and gambling are televised and encouraged in Ireland. Similarly, online gambling is an ever-growing industry that is fully legal in Ireland now too. From 2015 with the introduction of the Betting Act, Irish punters can now gamble online with onshore and offshore operators.  

Gambling as a whole is hugely popular in Ireland. Irish people love to place a good bet and have a little friendly competition. The Irish Examiner newspaper released some incredible statistics in 2020, suggesting that Irish people gambled with an estimated €9.8 billion in 2019. The same report indicated that nearly 70% of the adult population in Ireland has gambled in some form over the last year. And it has also released data that shows the lottery and scratch cards to be the most popular form of gambling in the country. The Department of Health also released figures suggesting that those between 55-64 and 35-44 are the most likely age groups to gamble.

Gov.ie, which is the official government website in Ireland, has also released statistics suggesting that less than 1% of gamblers would be considered “problem gamblers”. Further stating that of the 70% of adults that have gambled in the last year, 56% are said to have bought a lottery ticket or scratch card. Whilst lottery and scratch card gambling may be the most popular, the prevalence of horse racing and land casino bets should not go unnoticed. Similarly, online casino gaming has become hugely popular, especially after Covid-19 impacted many land-based casinos. Due to how the Irish spend on gambling, one could expect the online casino industry to be the new gambling kingpin in Ireland. 

Modern Tendencies, Expectations, And Future Prospects

The world of gambling in Ireland is ever-evolving. Over the last number of years, more acts have been passed, and more ways to gamble responsibly are being introduced. One could say that gambling is now more accessible and more fun than ever. This is because a range of new and exciting features have brought online gambling to life. Here are some of them: 

  • Use Of Cryptocurrency – crypto is the real deal, and many casinos have begun adopting crypto as a deposit and withdrawal method for users along with Irish PayPal casinos, etc. Players can now add money into their account by setting up a crypto wallet and depositing or withdrawing their Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Tether from it. The beauty of using crypto as a payment method is the fact that transactions are instant, and it is a secure way to transfer and protect money. 
  • Growth In The Amount Of Live-Casino – Live casinos are another innovative way to make players feel more comfortable when gambling. The live casino makes you feel as if you were there in person playing poker, or roulette, or blackjack. Live casino gaming has only been around for a couple of years on the Irish market but continues to be a staple in many online sites and is growing to become ever more popular.  
  • Mobile Gambling – Mobile gaming is a vital part of the modern gambling experience. Nowadays, many casinos have apps and mobile-friendly websites that allow users to access their profiles from their phones and laptops, tablets, and desktops. The ability to play fun casino games, gamble and win money on your mobile is an ever-growing phenomenon through various bookies having accessible mobile apps, and with the growth of casino-based apps on mobiles, too, one could expect the industry to grow even further. 
  • New Technologies – In line with the rise of online gambling in Ireland, there has also been a rise in the use of new and exciting technology. For example, the increase in smartwatch technology means that with some bookmaker apps, you can place a bet on a horse or your favourite team with your watch! Similarly, software companies have been recently testing Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in the gambling industry. Through wearing a VR headset, users will be able to enjoy a realistic 360 degree view of a casino. Through Augmented Reality, users can even begin to interact with slot machines and casino tables. While the likes of VR and AR may not be fully accessible to everyone for a while, it is exciting to see that these technologies are in the pipeline. 

Final Words 

Ultimately, Ireland is a great place to gamble. For the most part, gambling is a legal and fun way to win money, and for many years, the industry itself has continued to grow. New technologies are making the online gambling and casino industry more accessible. Irish ministers are also looking to expand the land-casino industry. Thankfully for the Irish people, it seems like gambling is here to stay, and not only that, now they can discover newer and more exciting ways to win too.