The Irish people are inclined towards betting, and this behavior can be traced deep in their culture with betting of any sort, especially sports betting being one of their favorite pastime activities. That being said, you have to look hard to find an Irishman who has absolutely no knowledge regarding odds, betting and such terms. The population is spending billions every year in online sports betting Ireland as well as on offline betting of all sort.
Also, even though the island of Ireland is relatively small, it is home for some world-renowned bookmakers that offer their services to millions of players in different jurisdictions. If you have placed at least once a sports bet, then you surely heard about names like Paddy Power, Coral or Boylesports. We will go into more details regarding these bookmakers further down in the article. Firstly, let us see how sports betting Ireland in both its online and offline form managed to become so popular.
Sports Betting Ireland – History
The first form of a Gambling act was signed all the way back in 1931, and it regulated the taxation of retail bookmakers in Ireland. This first form of a Betting Act was followed by a Gaming and Lotteries act that cam into action in 1956 and it allowed lotteries and sports betting Ireland but put casinos outside the law. Certain loopholes in the Betting Act from 1956 made it necessary for another update, and this came in the form of Betting Bill of 2013. This marked the beginning of the necessity of operators to hold a license no matter if they have a physical presence or are entirely remote.
Popular Sports in Ireland
Now, if the betting and gambling culture is very similar to what you would find in the UK, there are major differences when it comes to the popular sports in Ireland. Simply put, Irish punters do not care for football in their betting endeavors. They do like football, however, it’s Gaelic football that they prefer and which is also the national sport of the country. Gaelic football is held accountable for a third of the online sports betting Ireland has to show for.
Another hugely popular sport in Ireland, both from a live presence and from a betting perspective, hurling is responsible for a quarter of all live attendances at sporting events. Some bookmakers report that there are moments when Gaelic football and hurling are very close regarding market share, however, during the championships Gaelic football is always on top.
Football, the king of sports all across Europe, comes only on the third position in the list of the most popular sports in Ireland. That happens despite Ireland’s strong national team that managed to impress in recent European and World Championships.
Other sports that enjoy increased popularity in Ireland are horseracing and rugby union, each of them gathering a notable number of people on the stadiums for live events. Of course, this translates in an equally large number of punters at online bookmakers or physical betting shops.
Online Sports Betting Data in Ireland
Even though it has a small population, the total gambling revenue in Ireland competes with nations that are far numerous. A total of €6.2 billion in revenue was reported in 2017 representing all forms of gambling both online and offline.
We all saw that Gaelic football is the most popular sport in Ireland and, as an interesting oddity, this isn’t the sport that brings most punters to the online bookmakers. Horseracing is actually the most popular sport regarding betting volume, with over 70% out of the total wagers placed by Irish punters last year. Next, in line, soccer gets 31% out of the total bets placed while Gaelic Football and Golf follow with 23%, respectively 15%.
Best Bookmakers in Ireland
As promised at the beginning of this article, we are going to go into more details about the biggest bookmakers in Ireland. Below, you will discover the pros and cons of betting with one of Ireland’s biggest bookmakers.
There’s no doubt that Paddy Power is the biggest Irish bookmaker in both the online and offline environments. It was established in 1988 in Dublin and offers their online betting services to millions of punters from all over the globe. With a strong tradition behind and a punter-orientated strategy, Paddy Power managed to maintain their position as leaders in Ireland and quickly expand in other territories as well. Their expansion marked a very important moment in February 2016 when they merged with Betfair, a very successful betting exchange. The result of this merge leads to even better odds and promotions for punters choosing both brands.
An equally qualitative bookmaker that was established and thrived in Ireland, Coral was founded by Joe Coral and Tom Bradbury in 1961. Starting as a betting office in Dublin, the two slowly developed the industry and the brand grew into what is now known as the Ladbrokes Coral, owned by GVC Holdings starting March 2018. Just like Paddy Power, Coral grew to include other bookmakers and bingo ventures as well, and it offers a wide range of services to their punters, both online and offline.
Great range of sports and betting markets
Multiple products such as online casino or bingo
Appealing welcome bonus
Great odds on horse racing and greyhound racing.
A big list of jurisdictions that can’t play at Coral
BoyleSports is currently the largest Irish independent bookmaker, and everything started with a betting office founded in 1982. John Boyle is the man that started everything and grew the brand up until last year when Conor Gray took the role of the CEO. Both through their online and offline operations, BoyleSports offer their customers an extensive range of sports betting, casino and lottery products. You can always be sure that you’re getting the highest odds and the most in-play betting options at BoyleSports.
International online presence
Millions of registered users
Great promotions for new and existing players
Awesome lottery offer
The football odds are not as high as other Irish competitors