How we found the best sports betting sites in Ireland
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Best of the best
Ireland has one of the longest-established betting industries in the world. Sports betting, particularly betting on horse racing, has been part of society in Ireland for centuries, and during the last century, other sports, including rugby, hurling, and football, have become staples of the Irish betting scene.
Some of the best sports betting sites in Ireland are now household names in Europe and beyond, and for Irish sports betting fans, there is a wealth of betting opportunities.
In such a competitive industry, however, it can sometimes be difficult to work out which site is the best for your betting needs. To help you navigate the world of Irish sports betting, in this article, we reveal how we went about finding the best sports betting sites in Ireland.
Our top five sports betting sites in Ireland
Narrowing down the betting site options available in Ireland was not easy and we don’t expect that everyone will agree with our choice of the top five:
- 888 Sport
How did we end up with this shortlist of five? Read on to find the key factors that we used in finding these top sports betting sites available to Irish punters.
Stick with licensed sites
With so many licensed betting sites available to Irish punters, it is surprising that some sports betting fans still choose to bet with unlicensed and illegal sites, but unfortunately, it does happen.
When you bet with an unlicensed site, you are taking several risks. There is the danger of inadvertently helping with criminal activity, as many unlicensed sites are used for money laundering and other illegal activities. You may also run the risk of having your personal or financial data stolen, as unlicensed sites are not required to safeguard this data. Finally, an unlicensed site is under no obligation to pay out your winnings, even if you bet successfully.
The starting point in our search for the best betting sites in Ireland was to rule out any site that was not licensed by the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland.
The sports betting culture in Ireland is rich and varied. Punters in Ireland like to bet on a wide range of sports, from Gaelic football and horse racing to MMA and golf. Within each sport, there are also many possible market variations. For example, for a typical high-profile football game in a big European league, a top bookmaker will offer over 100 markets.
Since you don’t want to be restricted in the sports and markets that you can bet on, bookmakers that can offer the widest range of sports coverage and market depth are the sites to focus on, and in this area, major bookmakers like 888 Sport often provide the most comprehensive service.
Even though you should only treat sports betting as a hobby or pastime, like most people, you still want to bet successfully. Some punters think that sports betting success is about backing more winners than others, but what matters more than winners is the price at which you bet.
Fortunately, there are lots of handy tools available online to help you assess which bookmaker in Ireland offers the best odds. By using odds comparison tools, most of which are available for free, we were able to get an idea of which site tends to provide the most competitive odds on each sport. For instance, Bet365 were generally competitive with football, while BoyleSports are strong on rugby.
Live betting is one of the fastest growing sectors of the sports betting industry, thanks to the development of streaming and internet technology that allows for effective coverage of ongoing sports events and fast updating of in-game betting markets.
If you’re betting on an event that is in-play, you rely on access to the best coverage of the event, on markets that cover all the relevant in-play betting options, on rapidly updated prices and on a variety of tools, such as Cash Out and live data, to help you with your live betting strategy.
In looking for the best sports betting sites in Ireland, we focused on those sites that could offer effective live streaming, as it is difficult to bet live on an event if you have to keep switching to another site to follow the event. This is an area where major betting sites such as 888 Sport and Bet365 have an advantage, as they have the resources to acquire access to live streaming and the platforms to provide in-play features such as Cash Out.
In 2023, most of us access the internet using mobile devices, and the best sportsbooks have kept up with that trend by continually updating their mobile platforms to ensure that mobile bettors have full access to all the sports betting features on their sites.
Mobile access to some sports betting is through downloadable betting apps, but while you may still find some betting apps available, most mobile sports betting is accessed through mobile browsers. Thanks to HTML5 technology, betting sites can offer direct access to their platforms, without having to download a separate app.
Whether you use an app or a mobile browser, it is important to make sure that your chosen betting site supports the mobile operating system you are using, and provides access to all the markets and betting features that you can find on the desktop version of the site.
The modern financial sector is as diverse as the betting industry and it seems as though there are new financial options launching every month. Sports betting sites have to keep up with these changes if they are to meet the needs of modern customers, so when choosing the best betting sites available for bettors in Ireland, we have prioritised sites that offer a variety of banking methods.
We also looked for sites that offer the fastest withdrawals. While the time it takes for money to reach your account will vary according to which banking method you use, sites such as Novibet, which processes withdrawals quickly and efficiently, will generally produce faster overall withdrawal times.
Customer support may not be top of your list when choosing a sportsbook, but if something goes wrong while you’re using a site, you need to be able to access fast and efficient help to resolve the issue. There are multiple ways for sports betting sites to offer customer support, including telephone, email, live chat, social media and on-site messaging, and we prefer sites that offer as many as possible of these options, along with a solid FAQ section.
Bonuses and promotions
Bookmakers often use bonuses to attract new customers, but when choosing the best sports betting sites in Ireland, we weren’t just looking for the flashiest headline bonus amount. We focused on the terms and conditions of the bonuses offered, as well as the frequency of bonus offers. Some bookmakers focus exclusively on welcome bonuses but the best sites continue to reward regular users, and both Novibet and Bet365 are good examples.
You may not agree with our choice of the best sports betting sites in Ireland, but whatever your opinion, the factors that we have listed here represent a useful checklist for you to make your own decision about which sportsbooks are right for you.