Full Irish Guide to Legal Gambling Age
Come along to see how the gambling age is regulated in Ireland and which are the institutions that provide its legitimacy!
Underage gambling can take a toll on the physical and mental state of the individual. Inform yourself beforehand about its devastating effects!
Rolling the dice: unraveling age restrictions in gambling
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Generally speaking, in order to be able to gamble in the Republic of Ireland (at either brick-and-mortar or online casino), you must be 18 years of age. Be aware, however, that there might be some cases when a land-based casino might require you to be 21 to be able to participate in any of their activities.
Any Irish player will be asked to submit personal documents that attest their legal gambling age before they are allowed to access several features of the top Ireland casinos.
Luck of the Irish: legal gambling in Ireland and casino game types
What games are frequently played on the Irish market?
CasinoAlpha Ireland experts will tackle two of the most popular ones along with their legal framework regarding the gambling age.
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From our experience as experts in gambling, we reckon that Slots are the most popular games on the market, but also the most diversified. An online casino could have a couple of thousands of such games, while the brick-and-mortar one may display from a couple of dozens to a couple of hundreds.
How do we know that?
Even so, the legal gambling age remains 18 for any type of Slot game. It’s part of the general online casino fairness policies.
How can this type of game impact the child?
First and foremost, as opposed to card games, where multiple strategies may be employed, Slot games run on a ‘luck’ basis.
This may subconsciously determine Irish players to become addicted even more rapidly, since they believe that in the following round luck will most definitely be by their side.
Young people may get into this game pretty quick especially if someone who is part of their group has already won a sum of money and they tried to pass the ‘highest score’.
Loot boxes may also be taken as gambling since you make a purchase without knowing exactly what you receive in the end. Since loot boxes are very present within games, children may be subjected to a form of gambling without even knowing.
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As you can see, the ‘table games’ category is comprised of a great range of games, like Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat, Poker, Sic Bo and many more.
These options may also have a live version (if we are talking about live online casinos real money), where players interact with a live dealer in real-time. Regardless of whether Irish players decide to access the standard version or the live dealer one, the legal gambling age still remains 18.
A gamble too soon: the impact of early gambling
Underage gambling can have extreme repercussions upon the player, with significant changes in both the physical and mental health.
According to multiple studies, people who start gambling young are more prone to developing additional addictions that relate to alcohol and substance abuse.
Moreover, since addiction can take a toll on mental health (even so since the child’s behaviour and personality are still in continuous development), there is an increased risk of severe and long-term depression.
The actual reasons why people get into casino games at an early age are diverse and highly depend on the environment they were raised in.
One of the most common motifs is the existence of a parent who gambles and, so, the child picks up their behaviour. Yet, we must also take notice of the social environment, since many teenagers can be heavily influenced by the group they pertain, since they can be pressured to adhere to some activities (no matter the consequences) in order to keep their status in that particular group.
This is the reason why it is crucial to notice the first signs of such condition in children and take immediate measures against gambling addiction, in order to impede its rapid onet along with its devastating effects.
Where does addiction start?
Gambling can quickly become a compulsive activity, especially if the player involved is a minor. Soon enough, addiction sets in and compels the youngster to go through extreme lengths to find a way of acquiring the funds needed for casino investments without being caught.
Of course, there are also some behavioural cues that could reveal a predisposition to developing such a condition.
What are the signs your child is gambling?
CasinoAlpha Ireland has identified a couple of signs that might indicate that your child is gambling:
- Frequent and unjustified requests for money;
- Playing and committing to games that imply certain purchases;
- Unexpected intake of money or, on the contrary, sudden losses of funds;
- Successive lies regarding its source of cash or its daily investments;
- Reluctance to engage in activities common for their age or events that once brought them joy;
- A significant drop in interest when it comes to daily activities and school assignments;
- Spending a great deal of time watching gaming and gambling-related videos.
Obviously, these are only some of the signs that may indicate underage gambling. In order to give a broader idea of how to prevent child gambling addiction, the CasinoAlpha Ireland experts created a guide with specialized advice as well as contact details of institutions which deal with such conditions.
Beyond the casino floor: age limits for other games
We’ve previously talked about the games that you can find in online or offline casinos. How about those which you can play directly on social media?
For example, in point of Slots, there are multiple variants Irish players may access just by having a Facebook account.
Even though this social media platform imposes a minimum of 13 years of age to create an account (with parental approval). Nonetheless, users can have access to these Facebook casino games.
This is the reason why it is important for parents to employ as many responsible gaming programmes as possible, to restrict the child’s access to such sites!
There are plenty of apps that can help impede gambling addiction. The CasinoAlpha expert team has made a thorough research and created a comprehensive guide to help you further.
Keeping it in check: Irish gambling regulatory bodies
According to the Department of Justice, the Republic of Ireland has yet to craft a Gambling Regulator that will work independently along with its corresponding legal framework.
The main institution that verifies and certifies casinos in Ireland is the Revenue Commissioners. Upon request, a thorough verification of the respective gambling platform will be pursued and, if the casino truly meets all requirements imposed by this institution, it will receive the Irish Betting License.
CasinoAlpha Ireland always puts your security first and opts only for licensed online casinos Ireland!
The legal framework for casino-related activities is also provided by the Gaming and Lotteries Act 2019.
The Malta Gaming Authority in Ireland
The MGA is one of the main authorities that regulate the online Irish market. This means that it confers licenses upon solid and extensive verifications.
In order to verify if the user has the legal gambling age to play at that respective casino, the MGA imposes a strict KYC check to verify the player’s identity. The user will have to upload a series of documents which may include:
- ID or driver’s license;
- Bank statement;
- Utility bank.
Make sure to follow the instructions provided by customer support regarding the KYC check! Otherwise, the verification process might last a lot longer, and you won’t be able to access any of the casino features.
Other gambling authorities that operate in Ireland
Besides the MGA, there are other institutions that operate within the online gambling market and exercise their legal framework towards casinos that wish to obtain a proper license.
Some of the most renowned ones are:
- United Kingdom Gambling Commission;
- Gibraltar gambling license.
You will find details about licenses in each of our casino reviews!
Caught in the act: under 18 gambling in Ireland
First and foremost, be aware that a breach of any provision stipulated in the Gaming and Lotteries Act 2019 is considered an offence and is punishable by law (this also includes the legal gambling age).
The Revenue Commissioners work together with the An Garda Síochána in taking appropriate measures and condemning those who resort to illegal practices. Both the player and the casino may bear legal consequences if there is such a case of underage gambling.
How is the player affected?
Usually, if a minor attempts to play at a casino, it will be asked to leave (in case of brick-and-mortar casinos) or its account will be permanently closed (in case of a gambling platform).
However, if the situation escalates and the police steps in, the player might receive substantial fines and imprisonment (according to the severity degree of the case).
Online gambling platforms have complex Know Your Customer checks that attest the legal gambling age of the player. The assistance team who performs these checks is very meticulous and doesn’t feel reluctant to immediately close any account if the owner is found to be underaged.
How is the casino affected?
Generally speaking, casinos should have extensive methods of determining the age of any player who crosses their premises (be they online or land-based). One of these methods is the online KYC check, while the other is identification on the spot, for brick-and-mortar casinos.
If such an online or offline site is found to have permitted the entrance of a minor and, thus, contributed to underage gambling, the penalties include license revocation as well as fines or imprisonment.
Playing by the book: the legal methodology
Since the Irish gambling market is yet to be regulated by an independent authority, finding information that tackles the legal framework of the gambling age in Ireland posed a real challenge to the CasinoAlpha team.
To make sure that they bring the most accurate representation of Ireland’s legislation concerning online and land-based casinos, our experts split the research process into 2 stages:
- Guides created by official institutions;
- External articles, studies, press releases.
This way, we made sure to cover a wide range of topics whilst compressing the information and make it as structured as possible for our Irish readers.
Without any further ado, let’s dig deeper into our top 2 research sources!
When creating this guide, we were careful to extract significant legal details from official sources. Since the Revenue Commissioners is, thus far, the primary institution which issues all Irish Betting Licenses, our experts used it as a main reference standpoint. We also took into account the Gaming and Lotteries Act 2019 when creating this legal guide.
As you have already seen throughout this page, we also tackled other licensing authorities that regulate online casino activity within Irish borders. One such instance is the Malta Gaming Authority, which Irish players will find pretty frequently on various casino sites on the market.
CasinoAlpha Ireland did all this extensive research in order for you to have access to the specific pieces of information you need, without losing time searching for them. You can rely on us for an ultimate expert perspective!
In our research process, we also resorted to studies regarding gambling addiction, as well as the overall gambling status in Ireland. Moreover, we consulted specialized surveys about the current Irish market.
A primary objective of ours is to keep the content evergreen. Therefore, we constantly keep an eye on any modifications brought within the Irish legal gambling framework and update our content. So, keep a close look at the website to stay informed regarding the latest changes.
- Malta Gaming Authority;
- Irish Revenue Commissioners;
- Department of Justice Ireland;
- Gaming and Lotteries Act 2019;
- Youth gambling problems: a public health perspective – study;
- Problem gambling in adolescents: what are the psychological, social and financial consequences? – study;
- Gambling in the Republic of Ireland: Results from the 2019–20 National Drug and Alcohol Survey.