How We Review Irish Casino Sites
Wondering how we pick out the best from the rest? Our filtering process ensures you’ll be choosing from only the very best options that Ireland has to offer. This is a very important choice, and we feel that you should know all of the key reasons for how we make our selections. After all, once you know how we choose the best online casinos in Ireland, you will have more confidence in knowing what your chosen bookmaker will provide. Check out our selection process below.
You won’t find an unlicensed operator listed on TopRatedCasinos.ie, so you can rest assured that, with any site you choose here, your funds will be lawfully protected and the games you play will be fair and regularly audited. While Ireland does not have it’s own gambling regulator, its licences are issued to sites holding permits from reputable bodies from abroad, such as the UK Gambling Commission and Malta Gaming Authority.
A site’s reputation and customer reviews are important to us and our review process — after all, player opinion is a great indicator of how strong an operator’s offering really is. We keep our ears to the ground to make sure any developments with a site’s reputation are factored into our reviews and rankings.
The online gambling industry is serviced by a rich ecosystem of software providers, each with their own recognisable styles and aesthetic. We expect to see the best online casinos hosting games from the biggest names around — such as Playtech, Play’n GO and Evolution Gaming — as well as titles from smaller studios like Dice Lab and Booming Games. Providing a wide variety of game developers is a sure-fire way for online casinos to enrich the experience of playing at their site, offering players a broader mix of games for greater levels of entertainment.
Understandably, bonuses and promotions rank highly in our users’ list of priorities because these often make or break an online casino. Once we’ve analysed the quality of a casino’s welcome bonus, we’ll spend time looking into the frequency with which offers are made to existing players. And to determine the true value of all of these bonuses and promotions, we’ll also assess how player-friendly the associated terms and conditions are.
It’s simple: the more games on offer, the better online casinos are able to cater to varying tastes and playing preferences. No two online gamblers are the same, and a site’s games library should reflect this. In the slots category, for example, we want to see high RTP titles that can be played from a penny, as well as plenty of progressive jackpot games sitting at the other end of the spectrum, such as Microgaming’s Mega Moolah and NetEnt’s Mega Fortune. The top casino sites in Ireland will also add the newest games to their libraries as soon as possible.
In terms of table games, blackjack, roulette and baccarat are a must, and we favour sites that also host dice-based games like sic bo and craps. The best online casinos round out their libraries with an extensive range of live dealer games and poker tables, as well as other titles in the bingo, Slingo, scratch card and keno categories.
Deposit and Withdrawal Options
These days, there are a plethora of payment options available at Irish casino sites. From debit cards to cryptocurrencies, you’ll be able to select your preferred methods from a long menu list. We expect to see at least some fast withdrawal options available, particularly a few e-wallets like PayPal, Neteller and Skrill. These newer banking technologies cut down the processing times on withdrawals to a matter of minutes, which is a huge attraction for many online gamblers.
Bonus Terms and Conditions
Bonuses are a huge draw for new and returning players. You’ll be offered a sizeable welcome bonus when you first sign up to an online casino that can only be redeemed once. After that, Irish casino sites run a variety of promotions for existing customers.
Each operator approaches its bonuses differently, so you’ll find lots of variety between sites, not only in the structure of the offer but also in the terms and conditions. Before committing to any bonus, it’s essential to read the T&Cs in full to understand how to convert the bonus into withdrawable cash. The T&Cs often determine whether an offer is right for you more than the bonus itself.
How to Find the Best Bonus for You
Here are some of the terms and conditions you’ll encounter time and again through an online casino’s bonuses and promotions.
Wagering requirements are attached to pretty much every welcome bonus. In essence, a wagering requirement is the number of times you need to play the value of your welcome bonus before you can make withdrawals. These can be anywhere from gentle to steep, so the player friendliness of each site’s requirements is always factored into our rankings.
Wagering requirements usually sit between 25–40x the value of the bonus, but you can find requirements that climb into the 70s. We’d consider requirements above the 25-40 threshold to be steep, while anything below that would be particularly player-friendly. Some online casinos require players to wager the value of their bonus and their deposit, which can generate severe requirements and make it virtually impossible to withdraw — this is one of our pet hates.
Many sites will only deliver a welcome bonus if your first deposit is over a certain threshold. These minimum requirements tend to be reasonable, especially if you’re getting a matched deposit bonus where it pays to take advantage of their maximum payout, but we take these into account nonetheless.
At most online casinos in Ireland, minimum deposits are either €10 or €20, so €20 is the highest minimum deposit you’re likely to come across.
Some online casinos restrict the amount that wagers contribute to the overall requirements by weighting specific games. As a general rule, casinos tend to weigh wagers on slot games at 100%, meaning the full amount of bets made on the slots will chip away at the wagering requirements. There may be exceptions to this; for example, a casino might calculate wager contributions on high RTP slots at 20% to protect themselves from losing too much money.
This approach often extends to a casino’s range of table games. Since some of these games — blackjack in particular — have low house edges, casinos will restrict wager contributions on these games. It’s not uncommon to see all table games weighted at 10%, or perhaps even 0%. If you’re committed to fulfilling the wagering requirements, make sure you’re doing so on games weighted at 100%.
You may find that your bonus comes with a list of excluded games. For welcome bonuses with free spins, it’s common for casino sites to make these spins available on just one game — Play’n GO’s Book of Dead and NetEnt’s Starburst are two titles often targeted with these bonuses.
Bonus funds might also come with game exclusions. Live casino games and progressive jackpot slots are two categories that are often restricted. There are, however, plenty of online casinos that offer welcome bonuses designed specifically for use on their selection of live dealer titles.
Welcome bonuses can be as fleeting as they are tantalising, with many expiring before they’re used in full. Time limits vary between operators in both presence and scope, with bonuses occasionally needing to be used within 48 hours of signing up.
Many operators block certain payment methods from accessing welcome bonuses to protect themselves from bonus manipulation. Users of e-wallets such as Neteller, Skill and PayPal, for example, are able to bypass bonus restrictions by setting up multiple accounts. Irish casino sites will always outline which payment methods are ineligible, so just consult the list to see whether your preferred option is available. As a general rule, deposits made with debit cards are always eligible for bonuses.
Sites have varying payout speeds when players make withdrawals, with some being almost instantaneous and others taking several days to clear.
Fast withdrawals are a boon for any casino site, allowing players the opportunity to get their hands on their cash as soon as possible. Withdrawal speed is therefore factored into our casino reviews, and we favour sites at the faster end of the spectrum.
There are a few processes that affect payout speeds. The first – and most significant – is the payment method. Newer banking technologies, such as e-wallets and cryptocurrencies, aren’t hindered by lengthy processing checks at banks, so transactions can be approved at much faster rates. These banking options and others like them will often pay out to their customers in an instant.
The other main factor is the casino’s internal process when dealing with withdrawal requests. Ireland’s best online casinos commit to no longer than 24 hours to fulfil withdrawal requests, but in the slowest cases, this process can take a few days.
The best sites make sure that players can make deposits and withdrawals in a way that suits them best. Debit cards are the most common and popular method, but we’re particularly interested in seeing a site’s e-wallet, prepaid card, and phone bill-based options alongside their transaction times, withdrawal limits, and minimum deposit requirements.
Playing casino games, casting bets, and tracking odds on the go has become an expectation amongst players, and we take a site’s mobile offering very seriously. First up, we take a look at how well a site’s web pages are optimised for use on smartphones and tablets.
Next, we want to know if the site offers a dedicated, native smartphone app and, if they do, how user friendly, functional, and reliable it is. All of this and more is factored into how we score a site’s mobile offering.
Every so often, even with the very best sites, players may need to clear up an issue with their operator. Our favourite operators ensure support is available around the clock to ensure you can get the answers you need, alleviate any stress, and get back to enjoying the games on offer. As such, we always pay close attention to site support’s availability and the quality of their service.
- Extern Problem Gambling – Formerly known as Problem Gambling Ireland, Extern Problem Gambling is a charity offering workshops and online counselling for those suffering from problem gambling.
- Gambling Awareness Trust – An independent charity that funds research, education and treatment services in Ireland.
- Gamblers Anonymous Ireland – A community of recovering problem gamblers that hosts meetings in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Louth, Wexford, Kerry, Galway, Tipperary, Meath, Westmeath, Wicklow, Donegal and Mayo. GA has also hosted virtual meetings throughout the pandemic.
- GamCare – Founded in 1997, GamCare runs a 24-hour helpline, online forums and chat rooms, and offers face-to-face treatment of gambling addiction. In recent years, GamCare’s lobbying of the industry has resulted in all UKGC-licensed casinos to offer self-exclusion tools on their sites.
- Dunlewey Addiction Services – A charity providing specialist one-to-one counselling and training services to anyone battling addiction of any kind. This service is also open to friends and relatives of problem gamblers.