While online casinos are relatively new to the casino landscape, the market has grown and expanded exponentially over recent years to offer gambling in every shape and form possible.
Gamblers are no longer limited to a land-based casino in their area when they can play casino games, place sports bets and purchase lottery tickets from the comfort and convenience of their home!
Every country has detailed legislation and regulations about whether or not online casinos can operate from within its borders. However, many regulated and licensed off-shore casino operators make their services available to players from all over the world.
Gambling in Ireland is deeply rooted in the culture of the country. With its ever-popular tote and love for horse racing, gamers of all ages have been placing bets for as long as it has been legal for them to do so.
From there, Ireland saw the birth of gambling parlours and private game rooms where gamblers could enjoy card games like poker and blackjack, while more electronic-based games of chance, like lottery machines, slowly established themselves in bars and retail outlets.
Is it legal to gamble online in Ireland?
Ireland set the trend of legalising online gambling in 2003 which saw many online bookmakers setting up their businesses with great success. When it comes to off-shore casinos, the Irish government welcomes casinos who have the necessary licensing and who offer casino services to Irish residents.
Given that as many as 12% of the country’s citizens are gambling daily, online casinos are reaping the rewards and so are the players.
How do I find the best online casino for me?
Finding the online casino to suit your needs can take some time as you research and unpack the services on offer. As we understand how overwhelming this can be, we have done all the legwork for you so that you can simply read our reviews and visit one of our recommended online casinos.
Should you wish to visit an online casino that has not yet been reviewed, here is what to take note of:
What is a gambling license?
All reputable online casinos are licensed by at least one government or regulatory body. These licenses are issued once the operator has ticked all the boxes and made a commitment to offer gambling services safely and securely.
When you visit a new online casino for the first time, scroll to the bottom of the page where you will find information about their gambling license. Popular licenses for off-shore online casinos include:
Online casino operators who are licensed by at least one of these regulatory bodies are reputable and trustworthy.
Is Secure Socket Layer Encryption important?
Newer internet users may feel a little apprehensive about transacting online at first. Fortunately, many reputable online vendors like online casinos take their customers safety very seriously.
To find a secure site, simply look for the “S” in https to know that your details won’t be seen by any prying eyes. In fact, the secure payment gateway only as access to the necessary details to ensure the payment is completed safely.
Now that we have covered the legality and security aspects of the casino, let’s get down to what makes one casino stand out from another.
What should an online casino offer me?
From games and promotions to speedy payouts and more, these are just a few of the services you should expect from your casino operator.
Casino Game Providers
Online casinos can be a dime a dozen, however, what makes one stand head and shoulders above another is their selection of games. And when these games are powered by world-class casino game software developers like Microgaming, Netent, Play ‘n GO and Evolution, you know that the games you play will not only play fairly with reliable payouts, but the games will offer you an exciting experience.
While there are many other game developers that can be listed, these 4 providers tend to win the awards for excellent games and offer such a massive game catalogue that is widely used, you are bound to come across these names at many online casinos.
What is a game catalogue?
Larger online casinos offer a full suite of gambling options to cater to your every whim. Whether you enjoy betting on sports, giving the slots a spin or playing poker, here are a few game categories you can come to expect at online casinos.
- Blackjack – Whether you prefer standard games against the random number generator or the infinitely more exciting live casino version, online casinos offer a range of variants for you to try.
- Roulette – American, European and French Roulette are the most popular choices in this table game. Place your bets and hone your skills as you predict where the ball will land.
- Baccarat – In land-based casinos, this game is usually isolated from the casino floor behind velvet ropes and, with its high stakes, kept for the exclusive enjoyment of the high rollers. There are no such limitations at online casinos. Everyone can try their hand and place bets as to whether the Banker or Player will receive a stronger hand, or whether they will Tie.
- Poker – With a myriad of options and every style and variant you can think of, why not play a live game to really put your skills to the test?
- Online slots – From classic slots with the 3 or 5 reel play area to the more advanced video slots that will have you taking a journey to foreign lands, online casinos offer a wealth of choice from themes to stakes where you get to spin and win large cash prizes. Try a progressive jackpot game and stand the chance of becoming a millionaire as you trigger the bonus game to spin the wheel of fortune.
- Scratchcards, Keno, Bingo and more – If you love a good lottery game, you will find what you’re looking for at your favourite online casino.
- Sports betting – Larger online casinos offer the opportunity for you to place bets on live games and, more recently, e-sports betting. Whether you enjoy putting the teams together for virtual matches or love researching and predicting the outcome of a match, you will get the chance to do so at casinos who offer this service.
What does “Live Casino” mean?
While we are talking about the games on offer, look out for a casino that offers a live casino experience. Thanks to live streaming and HD cameras, you can enjoy all the thrills and ambience offered by a real-life casino in the comfort of your own home.
Live dealers host games like live roulette, live baccarat, live blackjack and game shows professionally and knowledgeably where you can join the table to play against real competitors to hone your skills and win.
Powered by game providers like Evolution, Netent and more, these games are set up in a true to life manner and offer an experience like no other.
Can I play online casino games on mobile?
Online casino operators are well aware of how busy life is which is why they do everything they can to give you the choice of when and where to play your favourite casino games.
By offering a website that is mobile responsive and automatically shrinks to fit the screen you are using to view the casino, this gives you the option to take the casino on the go.
Some online casinos even have an app which can be downloaded from the App or Google Play store. Having access to online casino services from your Apple iOS or Android smartphone or tablet makes it possible to play casino games while waiting in line at the bank or running the more mundane daily errands.
All you need is a stable connection to the internet and you’re good to go.
Do online casinos offer promotions or bonuses?
Online casinos love offering you the opportunity to get something a little extra. From the moment you sign up, you can expect to receive free spins, deposit match bonuses, exclusive invitations and a whole lot more.
The welcome package may entice you to create an account but it is usually the loyalty rewards and VIP program that encourages you to stay.
Many online casinos offer daily specials that can be accessed by all members. Whether it takes the form of a Wheel of Fortune or if their standard policy includes things like Match Bonus Mondays and Free Spin Fridays, online casinos sweeten the deal in as many ways as they can.
How important is customer support?
Having access to friendly and efficient agents is the bare basics of any excellent online casino experience. No matter how beautifully designed the website, a customer will have a query at some point in their journey and knowing you can reach out to an agent who is patient and willing to answer your questions can go a long way to offer customer confidence and knowledge that the casino operator cares.
Online casinos do what they can to answer as many questions as possible in their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of their website which is another handy tool that can assure customers that they aren’t the first to find themselves a little stuck.
This is usually where you can find the terms and conditions of the promotional offers which also equips you with the information you need to decide as to whether the welcome package will suit your needs.
How do I bank safely and securely?
Reputable casino operators offer a wide range of deposit and withdrawal options can act as a reassurance to their safety and stability.
You can rest assured that when you wish to purchase casino credit or cash out your winnings, the process will not only be safe and secure, but free of any transaction fees.
Popular banking methods include Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, NetTeller, Skrill, Paysafecard and electronic bank transfer. Online casinos can offer you the option to purchase casino credit in the currency of your choice too which is very handy for more internet-based transaction methods like e-wallets.
How do I get started at an online casino?
Creating an online casino account couldn’t be easier. Once you have checked out our reviews and found a casino that tickles your fancy, click on the link provided to go directly to the site.
Have a browse around to see whether they have the games you like and then click to “Join Now”. Once you have added all your details, log in for purchase casino credit. To claim the welcome package, note the details and deposit the appropriate amount.
That’s it! You’re all set and ready to play casino games for real money.