When you begin researching Irish online casinos to play at, you might come across the term “offshore”. And in Ireland, this is a tricky one to tackle because the laws differ slightly compared to many other countries.
In its simplest form, an offshore casino is an operator without a physical location in your jurisdiction but nevertheless offers services to you and other players near you. It seems straightforward, right? Isn’t it the same as an Ireland-based website, only abroad?
Well, no. Not necessarily.
Offshore casinos are a complex topic to tackle, but we’re going to do that for you here. You’ll find out about Ireland’s offshore casino laws, what isn’t allowed in the country, and whether it’s safe to gamble at these websites.
Are Offshore Casinos Legal in Ireland?
At the time of writing, Irish gambling legislation allows players based on the Emerald Isle to gamble at offshore casinos. However, these websites still have to play fair; offshore online casinos must obtain a remote gaming licence before offering their services in Ireland.
In essence, the rules for betting with offshore casinos are pretty similar to doing the same with companies based in Ireland. No permit, no play.
Is It Safe to Gamble at Offshore Casinos?
Answering whether or not you should gamble with offshore casinos depends on that website’s individual circumstances. If you play at a site with an Irish licence, or a remote licence, then yes, it’s safe to play at. Having gone through the due diligence process of getting a permit, these sites will have the necessary player protection measures in place. Moreover, their games will be fair.
Where things get tricky, however, is when you discover an offshore casino without a licence to operate in Ireland. You can notice these pretty easily; either they won’t show the accreditation on their page, or they won’t offer payouts in Euros – or both.
If you run into an unlicensed offshore casino site, you need to think twice before deciding to play. Below, you’ll find out the main reasons why.
Unlicensed Offshore Sites Might Not Have Player Safety Checks in Place
Many unlicensed offshore casino websites have one primary goal: make as much money as possible. And in some instances, they’ll often try to do this while disregarding the wellbeing of their customers.
Licensed Irish casinos will usually have player safety checks in place to protect players. These will range from age verification to identifying if a player shows signs of problem gambling and providing information about responsible gambling on their website.
Offshore casinos without remote licences may not offer these features. If you feel like your play is becoming excessive, you often won’t get any help from the operator. Some sites will also conduct unethical advertising practices, which could serve as triggers to problem gamblers.
You Might Struggle to Retrieve Your Winnings
With unregulated offshore casinos, you’re playing a risky game when it comes to getting the money you deserve. If you win big, the casino might decide not to pay out. And in the worst-case scenario, they could disappear off the grid and take the money in your account with them.
A casino deciding not to pay out – even when you’re in the right – is bad enough. But with illegal offshore casinos, you might also discover that you don’t get a good enough reason as to why it decided not to pay out to you.
Another issue with gambling at illegal offshore casinos is that you might need to wait a long time for withdrawals to process. Most regulated sites will release your money as soon as they’ve authorised the withdrawal, though your payment provider might take a little longer than expected to do likewise in some cases. However, with unregulated sites, you could end up needing to wait even longer than would otherwise have been the case.
The Games Offered on Illegal Offshore Casino Sites Might Not Work Fairly
Regardless of the type of licence that Irish gambling operators obtain, they must meet specific criteria. One of those includes making sure that games aren’t rigged and that they come from genuine suppliers.
Having the above ensures that the industry can maintain a level of integrity. But for many illegal offshore casino sites, they have neither your nor the industry’s best interests at heart.
In general, you’re unlikely to win big at an online casino. And that should never be your aim – you should focus on having fun before all else. At the same time, however, losing because you lost fair and square is better than the game going out of its way to defeat you from the beginning.
Illegal offshore casino sites often integrate games without meeting standards they’d need to if they obtained a licence. As a result, you’ll often find that you’ll end up in rigged matches where your chances of winning are even lower.
Offshore Casinos’ Customer Support Teams Might Not Help You
When you gamble with a regulated online casino site, you’ll find that the customer support team will usually do what they can to help you. And even if the person on the other end can’t assist you right away, they’ll at least point you in the direction of someone who can.
With unlicensed offshore casino websites, things might not be so straightforward. In many cases, you’ll find that the customer support team makes little effort to help you find a solution to your problem – and in some cases, they might not even exist.
It’s easy to think that when you play online casino games, you won’t run into issues – and that customer support, therefore, doesn’t apply to you. However, problems can and do arise; make sure you’ve got help on the other end if this happens.
Think Twice Before Gambling With Unregulated Offshore Casinos
Ireland allows offshore casinos to obtain remote gaming licences, and many players in the country enjoy wagering at these sites without running into problems. These websites usually play fair, but the same can’t be said for their unregulated counterparts.
As an Irish online casino player, you’ve got plenty of excellent choices where you’ll get your winnings on time, have support on hand when you need it, and enjoy games that aren’t deliberately rigged.
Before you deposit with any online casino, make sure it’s allowed to operate in Ireland. If the site holds a licence from a reputable gambling authority, such as the UKGC or Malta Gaming Authority, as well as a remote licence from the Irish government, you can be confident you’re in safe hands.