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A Brief History Of Irish Gambling

Gambling and Ireland have always had a close relationship, especially when it comes to sports betting. The biggest interest in respect to betting in Ireland is definitely in horse racing and they are renowned for their horse racing events. However, how did Ireland get to this point? 

The English Influence

Ireland’s gambling industry was supercharged by the English. This all started happening in the 17th and 18th centuries with two major key factors behind it. Firstly, horse racing became more established as a sport, and the second reason is the re-establishment of English rule in Ireland. Ireland was a colony but had some degree of autonomy. However, the English influence was not there to regulate behavior which made gambling much easier in Ireland and it went unnoticed. 

The 1926 Betting Act

The IRA and British Forces have fought for three years, and Ireland eventually regained control of its nation in 1922. This enabled Ireland to govern over its land and the 1926 Betting Act was brought in order to outlaw illegal sports bookmakers. This meant that bookmakers needed legal betting licenses in order to bet. This is also a legal requirement today, and you should certainly trust sites that have one, and you can easily find such online casinos on this site. Thanks to this Act, betting entered legal courses which made it safer. 

The Gaming and Lotteries Act

After the Betting Act was introduced, almost 40 years passed and a new act was introduced. This made business a bit harder for casinos, and the Gaming and Lotteries Act regulated establishments that were offering betting services that were not connected to sports and horse racing. However, there was a loophole and gambling games continued in private clubs that were allowed to offer such casino games to their members. 

Paddy Power’s Influence

The name Paddy Power comes to your mind when you think about Ireland and gambling. This bookmaker was founded in 1988 in Dublin. This was a unison of three existing Irish bookmakers and Paddy Power was born. This company became one of the biggest gambling operators in the world and its headquarters is still in Dublin. 

Gambling Control Bill

In the 90s and early 00s, members’ clubs and the digital revolution pressured the Irish government to replace the out-of-date Gaming and Lotteries Act with a modern system. So, in 2013, the parliament passed the Gambling Control Bill. This Bill was designed to regulate and not prohibit gambling, which will ensure fairness in the system and protect the users. So, with this, all forms of gambling became legal and were regulated by one Bill. 

However, even though the Bill was good news for casinos, only 40 licenses can be issued and venues cannot have more than 15 tables. This is brought with the aim to prevent a Last Vegas-style of super casinos from forming.

Even though Ireland often has an underground reputation when it comes to gambling, they have managed to regulate all gambling activities. Sports betting was the start of Ireland’s gambling rise and today all of the casinos, both land-based and online, can safely and legally operate and their consumers are perfectly safe.

Angela Mc Bride
I'm a Galway Native from Salthill. Graduated from NUIG in English in 1992 . Love local bia, pionta, craic agus céol go leor.
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