Ireland Gambling License

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There are some countries which have a rich history when it comes to gambling and its regulation. Ireland is one of those countries where gambling and betting are part of their culture. The gambling community has a strong position in the government.

But naturally, the gambling laws had to change, adapting to modern times, so, the gambling legislation in Ireland went through many updates. To get a clear picture of how it all went, we need to tell you more about its history, so that you can understand how gambling regulation is implemented in Ireland today.

History of Gambling in Ireland

The history of gambling regulation in Ireland began in the 1800s, with the implementation of the Betting Act of 1854. However, before 1956, not much regulatory oversight existed. And that’s when the government finally addressed casino gambling and lotteries and crafted the Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1956. This is when gambling clubs were allowed, which seemed as mini-casinos.

And while many things have happened until then in terms of updates to the laws and regulations, the most recent ones shaped Ireland’s gambling as you know it today, with a modern regulatory structure. In 2010, the country confirmed the introduction of licenses and tax for online betting operators to start offering betting on races. That same year, a tax for land-based and interactive gambling was set.

The Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland
The Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland represents operators
In 2012, Minister Paul Kehoe announced a reform in the gambling law which was postponed but was expected to be an introduction of a 1% on turnover tax. But then, towards the second half of the year, the Finance Department published a draft making changes to the Draft Betting Bill, which stated that operators that receive over €200k in bets or over 10% revenue per annum, must apply for a license with a 1% tax on turnover and 15% on GPT.

Interactive Gambling Advances

And while in 2012 the national lottery legislation was announced, in 2013 a tender process for a 20-year license was launched. The same year, an Interactive Gambling amendment to the Betting Bill was submitted, and the Gambling Control Bill 2013 was published. 42 different license categories were allowed, issued by The Office for Gambling Control Ireland.

In 2014, the first lottery licenses were issued, and the same year, the first campaign promoting online gambling was launched by the Irish National Lottery. In the meantime, the Finance Minister approved the amendment to the Betting Bill and gave the Irish Revenue to control interactive operators, but the announcement of the interactive gaming tax information was delayed for 2015.

The Gambling Act 2015 was implemented next, where a tax of 1% of the gross win for online casino and bingo and 15% for sports betting were imposed to the 27 operators who have been granted a remote bookmaking license.

But being committed to adapt to modern times, the Department of Finance started re-evaluating the regulatory system that has remained unchanged in 60 years. In 2018, the tax was increased to 2% and 25%, limits on withdrawals were set, and the rule for allowing only players which are 18 or above was stated. To this date, other reforms are being reviewed and considered, so Ireland’s commitment to keeping up with the pace of other regulated markets continues.

These casinos are legit in Ireland

Types of Licenses

You should know that the term used for casinos in the Irish licensing system is “private members’ club”. These clubs can feature low-stakes slots machines, or also called “gaming machines”, and “amusement machines”, when licensed.

In addition to casino, licenses can be obtained in the category of betting and lottery. Therefore, operators can apply for the following licenses:

  • Gaming license
  • Amusement machine license
  • Gaming machine license


  • Bookmaker’s license
  • Remote bookmaker’s license
  • Remote betting intermediary license


  • National Lottery license
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Application process

The application process is, naturally, an extensive one, and licenses are issued by different authorities for the three categories. The Revenue Commissioners issue the casino and betting licenses, while the Government awards a 20-year term license for National Lottery. And while casino and betting operators have to submit relevant documents and tax clearance certificate under the Finance Act 2002 to get their permits by the Revenue Commissioners, the issuance of the National Lottery license is subject to a competitive tender process. Only a single license holder operates during the 20 years, and when it comes time for a renewal, a bidding process starts. The one who gets the license and its operation is regulated by the Regulator of the National Lottery.

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