Breaking Down The Popularity of Gambling in Ireland 

Of all the successful industries in Ireland, it is gambling which forms one of the cornerstones of the Irish economy. Over 6,500 people are employed throughout the country, working in gambling shops and race tracks, with a further 1,000 being employed in head office-based roles. As with many other countries, Ireland has a rich history of gambling, especially when it comes to national sports such as hurling, and in recent years this is an industry which has grown at breakneck speed. Let’s look a little further into what the love affair with Ireland and gambling is all about. 

Going Online 

When Ireland made online betting and gambling legal in 2015, it saw a huge shift in approaches to gambling and betting in general, and caused a massive boom of new customers and new gamblers throughout the country. Instead of heading to the local sports betting shop or casino, punters could now head to sites such as, and gamble away from the comfort of their own home. The move to online gambling and betting has without question been the biggest change in the industry in its history and the factor which can be attributed to its great recent success. 

The Most Loved Market 

The most common place for the Irish punters to put their money is on the horse racing, somewhat unsurprisingly. For many years Ireland has been producing some of the finest racehorses, the finest trainers, and some world champion jockeys, and it is a tradition which goes back very far in the Irish timeline. It makes sense therefore that horse racing would be the most common sport to gamble on. Ireland has 26 different race courses throughout the country, thanks to its largely rural landscape. Interestingly, whilst the online gambling world saw a peak in how many punters would bet on the horses, the shops and race track bets did not slow down, indicating a new generation of horse racing fans. 

Keeping it Local 

Ireland has many sports which they like to call their own such as hurling and Gaelic football, these sports in particular have seen a sharp rise in the number of people betting on them since online betting was introduced. What this has actually done for Ireland is not just giving more people the chance to win money on these sports, but in turn it has contributed towards giving wider exposure to the sports, thus encouraging more people to be interested in it. 


There is a negative side to just about anything and gambling is no different. In spite of the excellent work which governments and gaming companies are doing, addiction is still an issue, especially here in Ireland. In 2017 the number of gambling addicts rose by 6.5%, the largest shift in many years. As a result of this, the government have changed a number of laws to help the 40,000+ addicts, and to prevent people having addiction problems in the future.