Work is underway on the drafting of a Gambling Bill to comprehensively reform the regulation of gambling activities and to provide for an independent Gambling Regulator. The Department’s Statement of Strategy 2021-2023 set out the commitment to establish a gambling regulator focused on public safety and wellbeing, covering gambling online and in person, and the powers to regulate advertising, gambling websites and apps.

The Report of the Inter-Departmental Working Group on Future Licensing and Regulation of Gambling published in March 2019 recommends significant reform of Irish licensing and regulatory approach to gambling. It identifies new and emerging issues not represented in the 2013 General Scheme of the Gambling Control Bill (which was published but did not ultimately proceed).

Betting Act 1931

The Betting (Amendment) Act 2015 was commenced on 15th April 2015. This legislation, which is the responsibility of the Minister for Finance, amends the Betting Act 1931 and provides for the licensing of remote (on-line) bookmakers and betting intermediaries for the first time. All betting licences are issues by the Revenue Commissioners.

Applications for certificates of personal fitness from remote operators, and terrestrial bookmakers not ordinarily resident in the State, are to be made to the Minister for Justice, following the placement of an advertisement in two daily, national newspapers. The advertisement and the application form are to be in a specified format. You can access these at the link below:

Terrestrial out of State Operators

Remote Operators

Applications for certificates of personal fitness from terrestrial bookmakers ordinarily resident in the State are to be made to a Superintendent of An Garda Síochána. The newspaper advertisement and application form for such operators can be accessed at the following link

Terrestrial Irish Operators

The application form in all instances details the information that is to be submitted in support of an application. It should be noted that an application will not be considered until such time as all such information has been received.

"relevant officer" of a corporate body is defined in section 1 of the 1931 Act as amended by section 2 of the 2015 Act. The first category of person who must apply for a certificate of personal fitness is he or she who exercises control (within the meaning of section 11 or 432 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997) in relation to the corporate body.  In addition to such persons, corporate bodies may choose that an individual in either the second or third category of person as defined in section 1 applies for a certificate of personal fitness. The legislation does not require all three categories of person to be deemed a "relevant officer".

Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956

The Gaming and Lotteries Acts 1956–2003 allow some limited forms of gambling. This is in order to provide a controlled outlet for people who wish to gamble. It also provides a method of fund-raising for charitable, philanthropic and other socially desirable purposes.

The forms of gambling permitted under the 1956 Act are:

For more information on gaming and lotteries, see the Review of the Gaming and Lotteries Acts 1956-86 A copy of the 1956 Act is included in the review document.

The Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Act 2019, came into effect on 1 December 2020.  Information Notes for Gaming and Lotteries are available here:  Information Notes for Gaming and Lotteries

Information notes for relevant licences and permits can be found here:  Information Notes for Gaming and Lotteries


Previous examinations of Ireland’s gambling laws

Casino Regulation Committee

The Casino Regulation Committee was set up in August 2006 and its report was published in July 2008 under the title Regulating Gaming In Ireland (PDF - 2.11MB)

Review of Gambling

A paper entitled Options for Regulating Gambling published in December, 2010, represented the culmination of a public consultation undertaken by the Department as part of an overall review of gambling in Ireland.