Irish Sports Betting Sites – Online Betting from Ireland in 2021
Sports betting can be overwhelming. This is especially true for first-time bettors. There’s so much you need to figure out and understand.
For example, which online bookmakers are the best for Irish bettors to join?
This is not an easy question to answer, but have no fear. The team at GamblingSites.com is here! Below is a list of our top recommendations for the best sport betting sites available in Ireland. Choose any one of them if you want to get started now.
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As for all the other things you need to learn as a sports bettor, here are some of the most important.
- How sports betting works
- What to bet on and why
- How to make money betting sports
- Is sports betting even legal in Ireland?
Further down the page, you’ll find information that will help you with all this, and a lot, LOT more.
How We Picked These Sportsbooks
We don’t recommend sportsbooks lightly. Our number-one goal is to make sure our readers have a safe and enjoyable experience online. That won’t happen if we don’t thoroughly vet each and every site we recommend.
Here’s a brief look at everything we review during our vetting process.
- The Company
Are they licensed and regulated? Do they have a positive reputation? Do they have a history of rogue behavior?
- Betting Options
We look to see what sports and market opportunities there are for you to bet on. We also look to see if they offer options such as in-play betting.
- Banking Options
Does the bookmaker offer the banking options you want to use, with reasonable limits and fees? We also look at cash-out timeframes to ensure you’re not waiting forever for your winnings.
- Promotions and Offers
We look to see what deposit bonuses, free bets, and other perks a betting site offers. It’s also important to us that their bonus terms are fair.
- Terms and Conditions
We look for several things here, ranging from cash-out limits to betting caps, win limits, and more. Our number-one priority is to ensure there aren’t any predatory terms.
- Software/Betting Interface
Is the betting site intuitive to use? Do they offer a mobile version or native app? Do they have any unique or interesting features?
Once we check everything out, we then determine if the quality is high enough to recommend them to our readers in Ireland. Everyone else – the 2nd-tier sportsbooks – is listed on our review page. We provide full reviews of our recommended sites, too, of course.
Finally, under NO circumstances do we accept money for recommendations or preferential ad placement. Bookmakers and betting sites are recommended based on the merits of what they have to offer and how well they run their operation. We won’t hesitate to demote or remove a site if their standards drop, either.
These are the reasons why we feel we’re one of the best in the industry, as well as why it’d be in your best interest to trust our recommendations.
A Brief Look at Sports Betting in Ireland
Sports betting is alive and well in Ireland. It has been for centuries.
Historians can trace gambling in Ireland back to the Middle Ages. Gambling became more prominent in the 17th and 18th century, though, as horse racing grew as a sport.
After the country established the Irish Free State in 1922, they got to work on regulating the betting industry. Their first attempt was the Betting Act, 1926, which was amended a few years later (Betting Act, 1931). The 1931 amendment stated that anyone who wanted to offer betting services would need to be licensed first.
Not much changed for several decades after, as far as betting legislation goes.
Then, in 1988, three bookmakers merged to form one of the largest bookmakers in the world – Paddy Power. They set up betting shops all over Ireland and the United Kingdom. There are more than 600 shops today.
Paddy Power got their start online in 2000. 16 years later, they combined forces with gambling powerhouse Betfair and fantasy gaming company DRAFT. Their new name is Paddy Power Betfair. As of 2017, they have more than 7,500 employees and did more than $1.7 billion in revenue.
They’re one of the largest gambling sites on the web today.
Is Online Betting in Ireland Legal?
Speaking of online gambling, is online betting even legal in Ireland? That’s a fair question, since there are many forms of gambling that are NOT legal for the Irish to enjoy.
The answer – yes, online betting is legal.
The 1931 Betting Act was amended in 2015 – Betting (Amendment) Act, 2015 – to reflect the changes in technology in the gambling industry. More specifically, it focused on operators in the betting space. This includes clauses revolving around licensing and taxes.
Betting operators are allowed to offer betting services so long as they have a license. The license costs a mere €10,000. However, renewal fees will cost €10,000 to €500,000, depending on the bookmaker’s annual turnover.
As far as taxes go, bookmakers only have to pay 1% on their turnover. This is a massive difference compared to the 20% (offline) bookmakers used to pay more than 30 years ago. Although that may not last long, as there are those who would like to see the tax rate increased to boost revenue to the state.
Punters will have nothing to worry about, though. Current legislation prohibits operators from passing these costs onto their customers. This is good news since Irish gamblers tend to lose enough money on their own without any outside help.
Problem Gambling on the Rise
In February 2017, TheJournal.ie reported that Irish gamblers are the third-biggest losers in the world, with an average loss of €470 per adult.
In addition to having the 3rd-highest average loss, problem gambling has also risen in Ireland. The country has seen a 7% increase in problem gambling in 2014 and 2015, 6.5% in 2016, and 9.5% in 2017. If you or someone you know has a problem with gambling addiction, we recommend you visit GamblersAnonymous.ie.
Don’t forget, these losses don’t include the money lost from outcomes outside of placing bets, such as being ripped off by a betting site. You can minimize these kinds of losses by choosing a legit online bookmaker from the start.
We’ll show you how to do that in the following section.
7 Steps to Choosing an Online Bookmaker
We’ve seen rogue gambling sites in every gambling market. You want to hear something a little scary, though?
Nothing comes close to rogue betting sites. Not rogue casinos. Not poker rooms. Betting sites take the cake by a long shot. We’ve seen or heard of dozens of them that perform all sorts of shady stuff that has cost punters millions of dollars.
Here are some examples.
- They accept deposits knowing they’ll never pay players back
- They void bets for no good reason
- Shady bookies retroactively change terms so that they can void bets and/or avoid paying players out
- They try to force bonuses on customers so that customers will have to roll the bonuses over before they can request a payout
- They don’t have any money on hand. They’re insolvent. The bookie is one win away from having to close their doors
We can go on and on, but we’re sure you get the idea.
The point we want to get across is that it’s important that you join a legit book. At the same time, you need to try to find a site with everything you want.
If this is starting to sound like an impossible task, we hear you. It can be hard. But only if you have to do it all on your own, which you don’t because you’re reading this now.
The easiest way to find a top-notch sportsbook is to choose one from our list above. That’s the best bet for most of our Irish readers. However, we know that some players will want to find a sportsbook on their own.
If that’s you, then maybe the following section will help you out. We’ve written up 7 steps that – if followed – should help you find a high-quality bookie. These are the same steps we take when we review and rate the bookmakers here on our site.
1. Create a List of What You Want
This can be anything. Here are a few ideas.
- Sports you want to bet on
- Markets you want to bet on
- The types of offers you want to claim
- Banking options you want to use
- The types of betting you want – in-play, props, spreads, etc.
When you review each site, go through this list and check off each item they have (or don’t have). The sportsbooks that offer more of what you want should be placed higher up your list.
2. Create a List of Bookmakers
This step is pretty simple. Create a short list of 5-10 bookmakers you think you want to join. You can find sportsbooks using Google or by visiting our review section.
You’ll want to make sure that, at the very least, each site accepts bettors from Ireland.
Then, as you go through the following steps, you’ll move the options up/down your list – or maybe remove them altogether – based on your findings.
3. Check for a License
A license doesn’t guarantee that an online bookmaker is safe or otherwise worth joining. It IS a barrier to entry, though, that should minimize the number of scumbags you run into.
Just about any license is acceptable. That said, some licenses are better than others. This is due to how tight of a ship they run and the number of options you have if the betting site switches over to the dark side.
We prefer sportsbooks that have a license through any of the following jurisdictions/commissions.
- UK Gambling Commission
- Alderney Gambling Control Commission
- Malta Gaming Authority
- Gibraltar Licensing Authority
- Gambling Supervision Commission
There are others, but these are at the top of our list.
4. Check Their Reputation
As we said, a license doesn’t guarantee anything. This is why your next step is to check the reputation of each option on your list.
How do you do that?
Our favorite places to go are sports betting forums. You can learn a lot about a sportsbook in a forum. Many forums will have threads dedicated to sportsbooks dating back years. You can look through each thread and see if the sportsbook has kept their nose clean – for the most part, as no company is perfect.
Another thing you can do is go through the forum for threads started by members. What you’re looking for are perpetual problems around things like cash-outs, voided bets, and more.
Don’t condemn a bookmaker for the first complaint you see, though. No operator is perfect. What you’ll find more often than not is that some bettors complain about the smallest things. Many times, they’re the ones who’re at fault.
What you want to find is complaint after complaint about the same place. Often times, it’ll revolve around the same issues. This is when you can feel confident checking the sportsbook off your list.
One last tip – make sure you can tell the difference between forum posters and forum admins. Many forums have a financial interest in promoting sportsbooks. This can (and has) skewed how they’ve handled customer complaints.
5. Read the Sportsbook’s Terms
We’d bet that most bettors don’t bother to read the betting site’s terms and conditions. We get it; this stuff is boring. It’s important you do, though, as there’s a lot there that can impact your experience.
Here are a few things we recommend you look for.
- Deposit and cash-out limits. Are they reasonable?
- Max win limits. This is usually an amount that you can win from one ticket. We’ve seen these as high as $250,000 to $500,000.
- Max bet limits. This will vary significantly from sport to sport. You’ll want to jot down notes for each sport you want to bet on and compare sportsbooks.
- Account maintenance. If you don’t log in for several months, do they charge you a fee to “maintain” your account? Do they say they’ll close your account (and possibly confiscate any remaining funds)?
- Do their terms say anything about management having the final say without discussion or any kind of arbitration?
- Do they reserve the right to change their terms whenever and however they see fit?
- Do their terms say anything about how you cannot talk negatively about them in public?
- Do they reserve the right to close your account whenever they want, for any reason?
There are more, but this should give you an idea of what to look for. Besides, you should read the terms yourself word-for-word. In fact, you wouldn’t be overthinking things if you chose to take a screenshot for any sportsbook you decided to join. That way, if they try to retroactively change their terms on something, you have proof of it.
6. Check out Their Sportsbook/Website
By now, you’ve probably crossed a few sportsbooks off your list. Now’s the time to go through each remaining sportsbook to check for the following things.
- Make sure they have (most) everything you want (from step 1)
- Ensure they have banking options you can use for both deposits and cash-outs
- Make sure they have offers you want to claim with terms you’re willing to agree to
- It’s a good idea to make sure their sportsbook is mobile-friendly
- Double-check that they have the sports and markets you want to bet on
- Make sure their website works well with minimal lagging and/or bugs
- Send an email or contact them by live chat to test their support
- Make sure they have options for self-exclusion and/or limits
The bottom line – you want to go through each sportsbook in detail to make sure they’re a good fit.
7. Make Sure Each Sportsbook Checks the Following Boxes
Each sportsbook on your list should be able to check the following boxes.
- They are licensed and regulated
- They have a positive reputation
- They have NO history of rogue behavior
- They have banking options you can use with reasonable limits and fees
- They tick most (or all) of the boxes on your “want list”
- They have reasonable terms, with few or no terms that could be described as aggressive or predatory
As we’ve said, no sportsbook is perfect. You’re never going to find a sportsbook that ticks every box on your “want list.”
That said, the list for this step is non-negotiable. That’s the only way you can be sure you’re joining a legit sportsbook.
Accomplish this, and you’ll avoid joining a crappy casino. This is one of the many mistakes sports betting newbs tend to make.
7 Common Mistakes Sports Betting Newbs Make
Joining an illegit sportsbook is only one of the many mistakes newbs tend to make. Here are a few other mistakes newbs make so you can avoid making them yourself.
1. Joins for the Offers
One mistake newbs make is joining sportsbooks solely for their offers. This might be a deposit bonus or free bet. It doesn’t matter what it is, though – this approach sets you up for failure in the worst way.
The problem here is that they usually forget or don’t care to check anything else out. They know very little about the company running the sportsbook or what they have to offer in terms of sports and markets to bet on.
You might as well join a rogue operation. Because if you continue to choose sportsbooks this way, you’ll end up at one sooner than later.
In fact, some bettors join sportsbooks sometimes knowing full well that they’re not above board. But the sportsbook has an offer the bettor wanted, and the bettor figured they’d roll the dice.
Don’t do this. It’s not just your money you’re rolling the dice on, but your personal and credit card information, too. Plus, if you join a shady sportsbook, it doesn’t matter how much you win since it’s unlikely they’ll pay you.
2. Puts Too Much Faith into Any One Recommendation
There’s a little irony here since we recommend you join the sportsbooks listed at the top of this page. Bear with us for a second, though. We’ll explain our thought process.
The mistake we see people make is taking the recommendation of one person or site and running with it. They don’t check the person or site out first. They don’t see if they have any biases, such as if they’re getting paid to promote a sportsbook. They don’t see if that person or site has a positive reputation and/or track record.
That goes for us, too. Check us out. Read our about page. Learn more about our company. Read the comments from our readers. Use the information at your disposal to determine if you can trust our recommendations.
(We think you can but, again, we’re biased.)
Whatever you do, don’t sign up to a sportsbook without doing a little due diligence on your part.
3. Only Joins One Sportsbook
For things like poker, casino, and bingo games, it makes sense to join only one site if you can. There are several benefits to this, such as racking up VIP points/perks.
However, sportsbooks don’t usually run VIP programs. And that’s the least of our concerns, anyway.
What’s more important about joining multiple sportsbooks is being able to compare odds from one sportsbook to another to find the best price. Here’s an example that will show you why.
Let’s say you went to Sportsbook A and wanted to bet on the Patriots vs. Giants game. Here are the odds you found:
Now, let’s say you took our advice and decided to compare these odds with the odds offered from Sportsbook B. Here’s what you found there:
Do you see the difference? Sportsbook B is offering better odds, regardless of which team you decide to bet on. It’d make sense to bet here as you’ll either save or make more money.
This is an extreme example to make our point. This should give you an idea of why you should have multiple sportsbook accounts, why you should compare odds, and roughly what to look for, though.
The only exception is if you don’t have a very large bankroll. Then it might make more sense to stick it out at one sportsbook until you get a few wins under your belt.
4. Bets Too Much of Their Bankroll
Another all-too-common mistake is betting too much of your bankroll. It doesn’t matter if you bet for fun or if you want to be a professional bettor; you should be betting in units or pieces of your bankroll.
A “unit” can be any amount. Experts suggest somewhere in the realm of 1%-2% of your bankroll. For example, if you have a $100 bankroll, each bet or “unit” would be $1-$2.
This doesn’t sound like a lot – and it’s really not – but using this bet sizing will allow you to take loss after loss without jeopardizing your bankroll.
5. Bets on Too Many Different Sports
There’s a lot to pay attention to if you want to become a successful sports bettor. You need to compare lines, watch for odds to shift, look for valuable bets to make, pay attention to the teams/sports you’re betting on, and more.
You’re more likely to find success faster if you focus on a sport or two. Depending on the sport, like basketball, football, soccer, or baseball, you might even choose to narrow your focus even more. Maybe to the national or league level.
When you narrow your focus like this, you can get an idea of what’s normal, such as for bets. You can also track what’s happening in your specific sport so that you can watch for line shifts.
Ultimately, you develop an edge that would be hard to develop otherwise if you were betting on everything under the sun.
6. Uses Arbitrary Reasons for Bets
If you don’t care whether you win money or not, then feel to bet on the “blue team” or the player who’s wearing your lucky number.
Just don’t expect to get very far this way.
A much better approach is to use logic and math to place your bets. Place a bet because you found a profitable arbitrage opportunity. Place a bet because you think the bookmaker made a mistake setting their lines.
Place a bet because you see value, an opportunity to make money.
7. Doesn’t Strive to Get Better
There’s nothing inherently wrong with betting for fun. If you’ve got money to burn and don’t care if you win or lose, then have at it.
We’d bet that most people would prefer to win, though.
Sports betting is tough to master because there’s little if any incentive for sharps to share their secrets. All they’ll end up doing is making it harder to find value themselves. This means you need to learn on your own.
That’s okay, though. There are a few resources if you know where to look.
We recommend joining one of the many sportsbook forums on the internet. Here, you’ll find bits of gold from bettors of all different kinds of backgrounds. Make sure you dig through the stickied threads. There’s usually a lot of valuable information in those.
There’s also a ton of information on websites like ours. In other words, if you want to get better, the information is available if you’re willing to do some digging.
You can put away the shovel for now, though. Because in the next section, we’ll show you some pages on our site that you can learn a ton from. We’ll also share a few books with you that you can also read to improve your betting profits.
Additional Resources to Help You Make Money Betting Sports
There’s a lot to sports betting. Even if you don’t care about winning, you should still know how to read odds, place a bet, manage your bankroll, and so on.
If you do care about winning money, then you need to know how to line shop, find valuable bets, keep records, and more.
For those reasons, we thought it’d be helpful to our Irish readers to include a section with the topics you should learn about first and where to find them.
Sports Betting Introduction
This is the first page you’ll want to bookmark, as it contains several of the articles listed in this section and many more that aren’t.
You’ll also learn the steps to getting started with sports betting, as well as how to develop basic betting skills.
How to Find Value in Betting Odds
In the previous section, we talked about the importance of not betting for arbitrary reasons and to focus on finding value instead.
This article explains what value is and how to find it in sports betting.
Comparing Odds and Line Shopping
When’s the last time you bought something expensive without seeing if you could get it cheaper elsewhere?
Sports betting isn’t any different. Why pay more for the same bet if you don’t have to?
Read this article to learn the benefits of comparing odds, how to line shop, and why odds differ in the first place.
Betting for Fun vs. Betting for Profit
Not everyone wants to bet to make lots of money. They want to bet for fun. Others don’t care about entertainment and would rather focus on money.
Which person are you? This article will help you decide by showing you the questions you need to ask/answer before you get started. It will also show you what you need to do to become a successful bettor.
The Biggest Challenges of Sports Betting
Is sports betting for you? You might have a better idea once you discover what the biggest challenges you’ll have to overcome are.
Other topics covered include controlling your emotions, how to pick the right sites, and what knowledge is required.
Online Sports Betting
This is a hub for online sports betting. You’ll find several topics here that cover how promotions work and how online betting works. We also give you a step-by-step guide that you can use to get started today.
Last, we have links to pages for readers looking for specific sports betting sites. For example, sites for high-stakes betting, Mac users, and more.
Beyond the articles you’ll find on our site, we also recommend you read the following books.
- Weighing the Odds in Sports Betting by King Yao
- Conquering Risk: Attacking Vegas and Wall Street by Elihu D. Feustel
These were recommended to us by a well-known bettor, Jim Griffin. Chances are you’ll run into him or his forum posts if you decide you want to upgrade your sports betting knowledge.
Sports betting is alive and well in Ireland. It’s 100% legal, too. It’s great that you don’t have to worry about that.
That doesn’t mean you should dive in haphazardly, though. You still want to be prepared. You need to know what to look for so that you join a legit sportsbook. It doesn’t hurt to have a little info that can help you make a few bucks here and there, either.
Between the information we shared above, as well as the list of sportsbooks that we recommend our Irish readers join in 2018, you should have absolutely no problems accomplishing either task.