Ireland is predominantly a rural community and despite its large geographical size, there are very few major cities. With casinos operating predominantly in major cities as a way of maximising income, the nation of Ireland hasn’t had much of an opportunity to play casino games, instead opting to gamble on sport, mainly horse and greyhound racing. Sport has been a phenomenally popular thing to bet on in Ireland, much to the detriment of casino games like roulette, blackjack, poker and baccarat.
Many argue that the Irish Lotto was the first opportunity for much of the population to get involved in gambling. There is no doubt that gamblers visit shops to buy Lotto scratchcards to wager in everyday life, but the greatest innovation to the gambling industry in Ireland is the development of online casinos and online gaming.
Irish players no longer have to travel to the big cities to play and enjoy their favourite casino games. Instead they can play games from the comfort of their own home. Whether they enjoy poker, roulette, blackjack, slots or craps, these can all be found online and users are starting to take advantage of this fact. Furthermore, users can also take advantage of live games, which are like those found in a land-based casino. Using a video link, players can communicate with the dealer and still win the same jackpots on offer as they would if they were there in person. In addition to this, many are taking advantage of mobile gaming, which adds to the appeal as it can be played while on the move. With games offering up the same jackpots as there would be anywhere else, mobile gaming is increasing in popularity. Playing games at home is just an added bonus for users, driven by improvements in technology.
Online casinos have grabbed the attention of Irish players and the industry has only continued to grow. Online poker and slot games have established themselves as a very popular leisure activity, especially considering that they’re available to everyone on a computer, tablet or mobile device, meaning that as long as you have internet access, you’ll be able to play the games. All the casinos reviewed on this site are fully regulated and you will find the most popular games available, including Starburst, Mega Moolah and Siberian Storm, which have proved to be favourites for both British and Irish gamers.
Irish gamblers wager approximately €5 billion a year, or the equivalent of €14 million per day, with 2% of Irish adults playing casino games online regularly, whether that is on the sportsbook or at an online casino, and 12% visiting bookmakers every week. This is a huge portion of the population of a country which has just 4.8 million people. There is a belief that the Irish casino industry has been left behind in comparison to the UK and other countries in Europe, however many operators have started to realise the potential of expanding into Ireland and the industry has continued to grow over the last decade.
Despite all this, there have always been groups of people playing roulette, blackjack or poker with their friends away from casinos as a recreational activity.
When it comes to betting and playing at casinos, the phrase “the luck of the Irish” is iconic. It derives from the gold and silver rush years in the second half of the 19th century in the USA, where many of the most famous and successful miners were of Irish and Irish-American descent. The colour green is also depicted as lucky, while there are a number of slot games based on Irish culture, including Rainbow Riches and Lucky Leprechaun. Indeed, folklore has it that leprechauns carry around a vast jackpot with them, bringing you good fortune if you encounter one. Another symbol of luck is the four-leaf clover, a rare version of the leaf, while the shamrock is used as the symbol of Ireland and St. Patrick.
The Irish do indeed love their sport. Greyhound racing and horse racing have a long history in the country and there’s no doubt that this has something to do with the betting culture surrounding the sport. Almost every time there’s a race, you can be sure that there’ll be bets placed on it in Ireland. Football is also just as popular when it comes to sports betting in Ireland, but what happens when the football season is over?
In the summer months in particular, there is little sport for people to enjoy, therefore it’s a prime opportunity for online casinos to attract new players. They can do this by promoting new games, publicising new offers and bonuses and by attracting more publicity. Many casino users may opt to use the online platform that their sports bookmakers have featured on their website, but they might be missing out on some fantastic offers if they do this. Just because the sportsbook is good, doesn’t mean the casino is as well. There are some websites which specialise purely for online casino players. At online-casino.ie, we aim to inform players as to the strengths of these sites. We outline the bonus offers that are available, the slot games that can be found, the deposits and withdrawal methods that can be used, as well as the fortunes of other players who’ve left their casino as winners.