The gambling market in Ireland is unique given the country's proximity to Great Britain. A lot of people assume that the gambling laws in Ireland are the same as the laws that are in place throughout other countries in the region. That's just not the case.
When it comes to gambling as a widely accepted form of adult entertainment, the Irish people have always been a bit more conservative than their counterparts in other countries. It's only been within the last 20 years or so that the gambling industry has been able to make substantial headway among Irish regulators and gamblers.
In the sections below, the discussion will center on the evolution of gambling in the fine country of Ireland. The discussion will include the development of the nation's casino gambling market, the evolution of online gambling, and the benefits of gambling as they pertain to the entire country.
The Development of the Irish Gambling Market
In neighboring England, legalized gambling has been a big part of the culture for more than 80 years with major gambling conglomerates like William Hill running the action. It took the Irish people a lot longer to accept gambling as a legal form of entertainment. Just the same, the Irish people have moved forward to accept gambling as part of the culture.
As recently as 2018, Iris gamblers were generating as much as an estimated €1.1 billion per year in betting revenue. Experts estimate that €315 million of the revenue came from land-based betting sources like casinos and sportsbooks in 2018. Another €310 million came from lotteries with the rest coming from the coin-operated betting machines and legalized bingo. Indications are that the numbers from 2019 exceeded the numbers recorded in the prior year.
The Evolution of Online Gambling in Ireland
When it comes to online gambling, a comparison to the history in England has relevance. Online gambling has been legal in England for well over two decades. That would include online lotteries, sports betting and, and casino gambling.
For much of that time, Irish gamblers were welcome because online gambling operators were excluded from licensing in Ireland. All of that changed in 2015 when the Irish government finally passed legislation that legalized most forms of online gambling for Irish residents. With the addition of Irish casino at casino.com, the gambling industry as a whole exploded throughout the nation. While land-based forms of gambling saw a slight decrease in activity, much of that action and more was directed towards online casinos and sportsbooks. As recently as 2018, market experts estimated that online gambling sites were bringing in an estimated €220 million in revenue a year with an increase expected going forward.
In 2019, the online gambling industry got another boost as mobile gambling took off. There has been a great appeal among online gamblers to be able to gamble from anywhere at any time. Experts believe as much as 50% of all of Ireland's online gambling revenue is currently coming directly from mobile gamblers.
The Benefits of Increased Gambling in Ireland
At a point when the Irish government needed new sources of tax revenue, licensed gambling has been a real boon for the country. While the current tax rates charged to gambling operators sit at a ridiculously low 2% of revenue, the extra money going into the country's coffers has proven to be very helpful.
There is another way the county has benefited by the increase in gambling activity. Both land based and online gambling operators need employees. It is estimated that the Irish gambling industry has opened up as many as 7,000 to 8,000 jobs throughout the country. Additional tax revenue and jobs are always a good tradeoff for legalizing gambling activities.