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Gambling laws in the Republic of Ireland can be quite confusing due to the continuous changes that have occurred over the last decade or so. While these changes are hard to keep on top of, they at least show the country's commitment to staying relevant and keeping pace with a technology-driven and thriving industry that will not accept an outdated set of laws. Below we are going to take a closer look at the different gambling laws in Ireland.

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Casino Gambling Laws

Before 1956, there were not many regulations when it came to gambling in Ireland. However, this changed when the Gaming and Lotteries Act was brought in. This law prohibits commercial casinos from opening in Ireland, but many exploited a loophole in this law and opened members only gaming clubs, which are not illegal. These are basically small casinos that offer a variety of casino games such as slots, poker, craps, baccarat, and blackjack. At the time of writing, there are around 14 of these in Ireland, and you need to be a member to enter. Playing for real money at such clubs does not break the Gaming and Lotteries Act.

More recently, an effort was made to legalise casinos in Ireland, but the 2013 Gambling Control Bill has not been passed in Parliament. If and when it is passed, it will allow 40 land-based casinos with fifteen tables each. The bill also includes ideas for expanding and regulating the poker, casino and bingo industry, but there is no estimated time of when the passing of this bill will take place. It could be soon, or it could be in the next decade or so.

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Online Casino Gambling Laws

Gambling at an online casino is legal in the Republic of Ireland. Irish gambling laws have made it completely legal for Irish citizens to gamble at regulated and licensed offshore and domestic online betting sites. Online casino gambling came on the scene in 2001, but it was two years before the Irish fully braced the concept. Nowadays, the online gambling scene is huge in Ireland and there are plenty of online casinos that Irish gamblers can sign up with.

Sports Betting Laws

Bookmakers have a long history in Ireland, which is the reason why the nation's earliest laws and regulations affected sports betting the most. The 1931 Betting Act regulated sports betting all the way until 2015. The 1931 Act was amended in 2015 to establish a way for offshore bookies to integrate into Irish taxation and licensing requirements, and therefore become legal entities in the country. It is now illegal for online betting sites to offer any gambling services to the Irish public if they do not have an intermediary or remote bookmaker license. Nowadays, there are more than 300 sports betting sites that accept Irish punters, so Irish sports betting fans really are spoiled for choice.

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