Online sports betting is big business in Ireland. The Irish love their sports, and many people like to add an element of excitement to the experience by participating in online betting. The online gambling industry in Ireland is one of the most trusted globally, so it is unsurprising to see it going from strength to strength in recent years.
There is enormous public interest in GAA and horse racing in particular, and betting sites in Ireland have developed a reputation for providing an entertaining, customer-focused experience.
With over one in ten of us placing a bet with a bookie at least once per week, betting sites Ireland are operating in a flourishing and busy marketplace. Online betting sites are completely legal in Ireland, as long as you stick with a licensed bookmaker or online casino.
All of this means betting sites in Ireland have snowballed in recent years. Sports betting is big business in the country. With the competition so fierce, each betting site must try and stand out from the crowd by offering incentives such as free bets, odds boosts, and more.
This article covers the best betting sites in Ireland, the most popular sports to bet on, the most prominent bonuses and promotions, how to place a qualifying bet, and more. All betting sites are legal and licensed, so you are always protected if you sign up for any of the betting sites listed on this page.
Ireland’s top betting sites
Our highest-rated Irish betting sites score best on the most crucial aspects; legality, security, bonuses and promotions, payments, customer support, odds, and user experience.
Although potentially lucrative bonus offers can be enticing, it’s vital to know that you are using a safe, reputable online bookmaker. As part of our thorough review process, we verify the legality of every operator and betting site we recommend. So, without further ado, let’s look at the best betting sites in the Emerald Isle.
One name comes to mind; in fact, it’s a name you can’t get away from in Ireland because of their omnipresent and sometimes hilarious marketing, that can only be Paddy Power.
The brand merged with Betfair in 2016 to create Paddy Power Betfair, now Flutter Entertainment. Today, the business has four divisions: Online Australia, Irish Retail, UK Retail, and Telephone segments. In the interest of picking the most reliable betting sites (as no one wants to see their money being swallowed up by a bankrupt company), Flutter Entertainment has a stock market listing and valuation of over €7 billion. So rest assured, this Irish company is in no danger of going bankrupt.
Paddy power excels across the board in all the most popular Irish sports and UK sports. Football betting, horse racing, and other popular betting markets can all be found on either the Paddy Power desktop site or app.
Paddy Power is the lead bookmaker in Ireland. Their main selling point over competitors is the variety of betting formats, prices, and coverage of the most prominent sports betting markets. You will discover multiple options for Gaelic Football, Hurling, rugby, and football. There is also an extensive eSPorts offering in addition to a casino bonus to play poker or other casino games if you want a change of pace.
Paddy Power Bonus offer: Bet €20 and get it back as cash if the bet loses.
Ladbrokes has been a physical bookmaker in Ireland for many years; their famous red and white colour can be seen in most big towns and cities in the country. Their move online has seen the migration of many of their customers to the Ladbrokes website and app. It’s hard for any of the top Irish betting sites to rival Ladbrokes in their horse racing and greyhound racing options. They provide excellent coverage, betting formats, live streaming, and tips.
Ladbrokes covers all of the significant sports leagues and runs some of the most generous ongoing promotions in the industry.
Ladbrokes Bonus offer: Bet €5 get €20 in free bets (Minimum first €5 bet within 14 days of account creation at min odds 1/2 = 4 €5 free bets).
The UK betting firm Bet365 has been around since 2000 and has now amassed an estimated 45 million customers globally. They are number one when it comes to betting on football and are major sponsors of big European football teams. The company has also been traditionally strong in tennis betting with a very comprehensive live streaming service. Bet365 offers the usual suite of services – sports betting, casino, and poker rooms on one website.
They are also one of the world’s biggest bookmakers, so reliability shouldn’t be an issue. Because of their size, Bet365 offers massive coverage across sports, including eSports.
Bet365 Bonus offer: Bet €10 get €50 in free bets (bet credits stake available to use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit).
888 have been established since 2008, and while they mainly focus on the European sporting market, in 2013, the Nevada Gaming Commission licensed 888 Holdings to provide online gaming. Consequently, it is one of the first non-US online betting companies to operate in the United States.
888 have gained a stellar reputation for their prices on new markets such as eSports and Fantasy football. The company acquired Dublin-based Betbright in 2019, so it now has excellent coverage of Irish sports and a wide range of horse racing and football markets. Golf is one of their big selling points, with massive coverage across the site.
888 Sports Bonus offer: Bet €10 get €40 in bonuses (Qualifying bet of $10 required. Free bets paid upon settlement and expire after seven days).
Betway has licenses across Europe as well as South Africa and Mexico. The UK is their primary market, and they are massive sponsors across UK sports, including boxing, darts, football, snooker, tennis, and horse racing. They were also one of the first bookies to get involved in offering a book and even sponsoring eSports.
Betway is a well-rounded sportsbook with a massive range of markets in football betting. Their “#betyourway” offering of combinations of alternative bets is a big favourite among customers. Betway is not shy about paying out big wins either; they paid out €17,879,645 to a customer in 2015, which was the world’s largest-ever jackpot payout in an online slot machine!
Betway Bonus offer: Deposit €30, get €30 in free bets (free bets valid for seven days, no minimum odds).
The Betfair betting app is owned by Paddy Power, one of the biggest sponsors in sport , meaning their reliability is proven. Betfair has traditionally been the site for more sophisticated bettors, and it has a massive offering in Irish horse racing, GAA, and golf betting.
They also have an exchange that allows customers to bet against each other rather than a traditional bookmaker. This gives Betfair the ability to offer more prices with fixed odds and exchange betting than the others on this list. Their in-play betting is also top of the group. The User experience is good, but sometimes it can be confusing getting your head around all the prices they offer!
Betway Bonus offer: Deposit €100, get €100 in free bets (For the free bet wagering requirements, always read the terms and conditions).
How we choose best sites in Ireland
Our review process is thorough and comprehensive. We start from the sign-up process to how to deposit funds. We also test every betting site from bet placement, bet type, cashouts, and bet settlement to ensure it is the smoothest possible experience from start to finish.
Not every betting site is created equal. Some will be strong on football, some on horse racing; some will specialise in tennis or cricket. We aim to find the best Irish betting sites that combine all important factors and add value to your experience. Here is what we look out for when we rank and review betting sites:
This is not so much a problem now as it was ten years ago, but it’s still essential. More offshore sites are becoming available, promising the world with free bets credited instantly and generous offers. However, they are not licensed, so your money and information are not protected.
You don’t want to pick an unreliable site that could sink your money along with the business. It’s also important that the sports betting site or app has the technology and features that get it through hectic times like when major sporting events are in play.
In a competitive marketplace, there will be a clamour for your business. This means operators will be keen to reward you for signing up. We always look at the terms and conditions attached to any welcome bonus, deposit bonus, or free bet to ensure it is achievable for those who want to claim it.
The variety of sports covered and the geographic coverage are important factors to choosing a betting site. This is especially true for people who may not live in Ireland but want to place bets on Irish sports.
We are all glued to our mobile phones these days. So it stands to reason that we would like a top-quality app to be able to place our bets. Nowadays, significant online betting operators will have mobile-optimised websites and innovative apps that allow you to bet with one or two clicks wherever you are, as long as you have a stable internet connection.
The above criteria must be met with flying colours for us to recommend any site to bettors. However, there are also some other factors that provide and added degree of excitement to the gambling experience. We also check to see if betting sites cover the below:
In Play / Live betting:
Most sites will now allow you to place bets after a match or race has begun and top betting sites will typically offer odds that are significantly shorter or longer, depending on how a race or match is unfolding.
This is important because there are so many premium subscription sports channels and more recently online content providers. Live streaming on betting sites has become crucial and some sites are particularly good at this.
Cash Out Features:
Sites that let you cash out before or during a race or match, to help manage risk.
Tipsters are most important and most when it comes to horse racing and greyhound racing, and so were including this feature in the criteria for the top Irish betting sites.
eSports are by far the fastest growing sports globally, and the decimation of the traditional sports calendar due to the Corona Virus pandemic has fuelled this growth at an even more rapid pace.
Casino / Poker:
Big rise in standard casino and poker betting during the lockdown so we included this offering as part of the weighting.
User Experience: The ease and use of a betting site or betting app.
The most popular sports to bet on
Every country has its unique sports; in the USA, you have American Football; in Australia, you have Australian Rules football, and Ireland is no different. The ancient sports of Gaelic Football and Hurling can be dated back to some of the oldest sports in the world, and these two are hugely popular in Ireland.
Ireland is also synonymous with horse racing, and nearly every county in the country has its own racecourse or more. National hunt is more prevalent, but as one of the biggest thoroughbred breeders globally – Coolmore stud is based here, flat racing is also hugely popular in the summertime. This racing all year round means there is a lot of betting activity in Ireland.
The other major sport which has probably been the fastest growing over the last 20 years is rugby. Millions of rugby fans around Europe are glued to Champions Cup rugby and the Six Nations in October- May. In the UK and Ireland, we have the Guinness Pro 14, and in the British Isles, there’s Premiership rugby.
Let’s not forget the other most popular sports in Ireland. Football/soccer is still massive, with the English Premier League shown on televisions across the country. Additionally, despite some horrendous results in recent years, the Irish international team is still a big draw.
Golf is another massive pull; Ireland has produced a plethora of major winners – Shane Lowry, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, and of course, Rory McIlroy. This lot brings in large audiences to watch their favourites play on the PGA and European Tours. The golf revolution in Ireland has made the game hugely popular as a spectator sport and to play, and Ireland has the fourth-highest amount of golf courses per capita in the world.
How to register for betting sites in Ireland
One of the big factors we consider when rating a betting site is its sign-up process. The whole customer verification process with the best betting sites is streamlined straightforward and allows you to access your funds quicker, use more payment methods and claim better promotions.
You will need to provide the following information when you sign up for a betting account:
- Full name and address
- Photographic ID
- Date of Birth
- Proof of address/Utility bill
- Security question
- Payment method details- Credit or debit card/eWallet information for your first qualifying deposit
All of the above can be sent online. Documents can be uploaded to a secure portal within the operator’s betting website.