Gambling in one form or another has been legal and regulated in Ireland since the 1800s. Although things have moved on since then, the Betting Act of 1854 set the tone for online poker in Ireland. Indeed, with the Gaming and Lotteries Act being amended in 2019, we’re now in a place where all forms a gambling, from poker to sports betting, are legal. However, as is always the case with gambling laws in any country, there are subtle nuances you need to know. With this in mind, here are the rules and regulations governing poker in Ireland.
Can I Play Poker in Ireland?
The simple answer here is yes. Poker is legal in Ireland, regardless of the setting. In other words, you can play live or online poker. Ireland is identical to the UK in this regard. The Gaming and Lotteries Act doesn’t prohibit poker, nor does it distinguish between games of luck and skill. Therefore, any licenced venue can offer live poker games.
On thing to note is that the Irish Gaming and Lotteries Act was amended in 2019. The updated laws came into effect in December 2020 but, as of yet, there are no specific rules and regulations for poker. This means that all forms of poker fall under the general laws of gambling in Ireland. This means anyone aged 18 or older can play poker at any venue authorised by the Irish Government and the local Garda Síochána (police force).
Best Live Poker Rooms in Ireland
Given that operators are free to offer a variety of games inside a licenced establishment, you’ll find a plethora of places to play poker in Ireland. As long as you are 18+, you can ante up in these popular Irish poker rooms:
Clondalkin Q’s Poker Room at the Emerald Casino
Address: 2 Millview, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, D22 V265, Ireland
Sporting Emporium Dublin Poker Room
Address: Anne's Lane, South Anne Street, Dublin 2, D02AK30, Ireland
Facilities: This is one of the best live poker rooms in Ireland. Not only does it have 14 tables, the facilities and games are overseen by legendary Irish poker pro, Padraig Parkinson.
The Westbury Card Room
Address: An Faiche, Malahide, Co. Dublin, Ireland
Facilities: The Westbury started offering poker in 2006 and it remains a popular venue for local players. There are cash games and tournaments every week, as well as promotions and leaderboard competitions.
Macau Casino Dublin
Address: 78 Aungier St, Dublin 2, D02 YD89, Ireland
Facilities: This Asian-inspired casino not only features a variety of slots, table games and eateries, but a thriving poker room. Hold’em and Omaha cash games run on a daily basis, with stakes ranging from €1/€2 to €2/€5. You can also enter various low stakes tournaments throughout the month.
D1 Club Casino
Address: 63 Lower Dorset Street Dublin 1, Ireland
Facilities: This Irish poker room offers cash games and tournaments. As well as low and medium stakes games, you can take part in cash leagues and play for extra prizes.
The Bonnington Hotel
Address: Swords Rd, Whitehall, Dublin 9, D09 C7F8, Ireland
Facilities: This isn’t a dedicated poker room. However, the Bonnington Hotel is where all the major tournaments happen. From the Irish Poker Open to the International Poker Open, this hotel has become an iconic Irish gaming venue.
Can I Play Poker Online in Ireland?
Yes, you can play online poker in Ireland at a variety of top-rated sites. Indeed, because the Gaming and Lotteries Act doesn’t explicitly prohibit online poker, you can play via your desktop or mobile. What’s more, there are no formal regulations governing online poker sites in Ireland. This doesn’t mean they’re illegal. It simply means that there are no specific laws governing remote gaming sites.
As such, operators simply need a remote gaming licence which, in turn, means they have to comply with the Gaming and Lotteries Act. This dynamic means that the best online poker sites in Ireland are also the best poker sites in the world. Moreover, you get to play on highly regulated sites that will accept deposits in Euro. You may have to use USD at the tables. However, this is standard across the industry. The good news, however, is that you will be able to hold an account balance in Euro and, moreover, cashout your winnings in EUR.
Another positive thing about online poker in Ireland is the fact you don’t have to pay any tax on your winnings. Again, because there are no regulations governing poker specifically, authority is deferred to the Gaming and Lotteries Act. This law states that gambling winnings aren’t taxable on a personal level. Companies have to pay tax, but you don’t. Therefore, because poker falls under the umbrella of gambling, you won’t have pay tax on your poker winnings in Ireland.
The Best Poker Sites in Ireland
So, we know Irish poker laws allow you to play online. The question, therefore, is what are the best online poker sites Ireland has to offer? Some of the top Irish poker sites to look out for are:
Online Poker Bonuses in Ireland
We’ve listed some of the best online poker sites in Ireland, but what do they offer? Well, as you’d expect, online poker in Ireland is a booming industry. Therefore, you’ll find plenty of added value courtesy of Irish poker sites fighting for your attention.
Some of the best online poker Ireland bonuses for new customers are:
- 888Poker – Click here to get £20 free + a 100% deposit bonus worth up to £300.
- PokerStars – Click here and make a £10+ deposit to get £40 in bonus credits.
- GGPoker – Click here and deposit $20+ to receive $100 worth of bonus gifts and a deposit match worth up to $600.
- Partypoker – Click here to get £40 in free credits + a 100% deposit bonus worth up to £400.
- Paddy Power Poker – Click here to £50 free when you bet £20.
Poker in Ireland FAQ
Is online poker in Ireland legal?
Yes. The Gaming and Lotteries Act makes it legal for you to enjoy the best online poker sites Ireland has to offer via your desktop or mobile. Additionally, you can play live poker in Ireland at licenced gaming venues.
Are Irish poker sites safe?
Yes, they are. Online poker sites in Ireland have to be licenced by a regulatory body and granted permission to operate within the country. This means the games will be fair and the software will be secure.
Is PokerStars legal in Ireland?
Yes. You can access PokerStars in Ireland and compete against players linked to its international network.
How do you play Irish poker?
The phrase “Irish poker Ireland” relates to a variant that’s a mix between Hold’em and Omaha. Basically, you start with four cards and discard two after the flop. You can click here for the rules of Irish poker in Ireland.