Find the Best Online Lotteries in Ireland

The Republic of Ireland has developed into one of the most pro-betting nations in Europe. To begin with, the country has some of the best lottery sites in the world, offering a diverse range of lottery games for Ireland lotto players to choose from on a daily basis. The National Lottery is the Republic of Ireland's only state-licensed lottery.

Online lottery is a popular pastime activity in Ireland. According to statistics, more than 10 percent of Irish adults play the lottery regularly. With this statistic, Ireland has seen an increase in the number of lottery online sites in the past decade to cater to this rapidly growing market. Being a lottery country, each online lottery site in Ireland strives to offer unique services to beat off competition and survive.

Find the Best Online Lotteries in Ireland
History of lottery in Ireland

Online lottery sites and games make a multi-million-dollar industry in Ireland. Players in the lottery country can gamble many legal lotteries. The current gambling laws in Ireland allow their citizens to gamble on licensed offshore online platforms, online lottery sites, as well as their local country lottery. In 2020, total lottery ticket sales were $918 million, $527 million returned as prizes, and an estimated $250 million raised for good causes.

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History of lottery in Ireland

History of lottery in Ireland

Numerous experiences define the history of Ireland lottery practice. Some historical experts even claim that lottery playing in Ireland began even before Christianity came about in the country. Archaeologists state that gambling on horse racing was a pastime hobby even during the Roman era.

That is dated back to the early 3rd century Ireland. However, modern gambling and lottery playing is believed to have strongly begun in the 16th century. This is back when Ireland became a colony of England. English property owners mainly governed these games.

There was no regulation on gambling and lottery, which in turn gave rise to the gambling culture. After the War of Independence, the Irish Free State was established in 1922. This free government’s first Act was regulating the gambling industry. Licensing of the local gaming operators was made official in 1926.

There are three key phases best define the Irish Lottery history: 1930, 1987, and the current period. Each of these phases has played a key role in the evolution of the Irish lottery. Throughout the 1930s phase, the Ireland Republic struggled with several problems, including the civil war and the great depression.


The government introduced Sweepstakes as a means to fund the construction of hospitals. The Irish referred to them as Irish hospital sweepstakes. The Irish government went on to form a private trust to operate the lottery. Participants of the Sweepstake had a unique way of playing. They pulled tickets from a closed barrel.

These tickets would have numbers of racing horses. The participant who pulled a ticket with the winning horse would bag the overall prize. However, because of the nature of the operation, the lottery tickets attracted black markets. That led to the Ireland government abolishing the sweepstakes in 1987.

Following the abolishment of the sweepstakes, the government created a controlled Irish Lotto. The Irish lottery was created under the National Lottery Act of 1986. This country's lotto helped in marshaling funds for good causes like arts, health, and sports. The initial lotto game used a 6/36 structure. The player that matched all six numbers from the lottery machine would be awarded the jackpot.

Players who managed to match 4 or 5 correct numbers were awarded small amounts from the jackpot. However, in the early 90s, a syndicate emerged. It aimed to buy lottery tickets in bulk to increase the probability of winning the jackpot. Following the syndicate's success, the government sought to limit the number of tickets an individual could purchase. The government, however, failed.

History of lottery in Ireland
The future of lottery in Ireland

The future of lottery in Ireland

Nowadays, a player participates in the lottery by matching numbers between 1 and 45. If the player matches all six figures correctly, they win the jackpot. The current Irish lottery has embraced technology. This has made it possible for players to participate in the country lottery through online lottery sites, thus eliminating bookmarkers.

The online lottery scene has profoundly revolutionized lottery playing in Ireland. Online lottery sites have become more popular mainly because of the high numbers of players they attract. This digital revolution began in the early 1990s. However, due to the popularity of the Irish lottery, digitization brought with its controversies and increased popularity. This led to the amendment of the Irish Gaming and Lottery Act. These new laws did not prohibit gambling because the government collected most of its revenue from this industry.

Legislation and Internet Effect

Online lottery sites will likely continue thriving. The government is to thank for this because of the accommodating laws and regulations. The rich Irish history of being a lottery country also contributes to the growth of these online lottery platforms. For instance, around 20 percent of the National Lottery’s sales were done online.

Players should expect even more creative online lottery features in the coming years. Technology, especially the internet, has anchored the rise of artificial intelligence and virtual reality. This is a huge change in this lottery country and for the gaming providers as well. As much as the internet is not a new thing in Ireland, gaming providers are busy developing new games to aggressively compete with the industry, both locally and internationally.

The future of lottery in Ireland
Lottery legislation in Ireland

Lottery legislation in Ireland

Ireland’s lottery legislation seems likely to change at some point in the future. The government states that reforming lottery and other gambling laws is a top priority. Recently, the impact of coronavirus has also played a part in regulatory reforms. This could hasten the introduction of more controls over online lottery providers to raise the much-needed funds.

Increased lottery regulation could occur with the introduction of a gambling commission since there is no central authority responsible for controlling the lottery and gambling industry in Ireland.

The National Lottery Regulator being an independent office, regulates the holding of the Irish National Lottery. It does this by ensuring that the National Lottery with due propriety. The Regulator is also tasked with protecting the interests of the National Lottery participants. Since gambling in Ireland must in part be of a good cause, the Regulatory office ensures that all revenues allocated to good causes are utilized.

Lottery acts in Ireland

Lottery playing in Ireland has been regulated by a number of Acts. These include:

  • Gaming and Lotteries Acts 1956-2019. This Act introduced cohesive licensing for gaming. Stating that gaming is considered unlawful if it is not subject to a gaming permit or license. It regulates smaller lotteries.
  • Betting Acts 1932-2015. This Act was amended in 2015 to address online betting and the provision of online betting services.
  • Finance Act 1992
  • National Lottery Act 2013. Regulates the state lottery.
Lottery legislation in Ireland
Irish players’ favorite games

Irish players’ favorite games

The state-licensed National Lottery began its gaming operations by launching the first scratch cards in 1987. Separate from the National Lottery, Ireland belongs to the Eurozone, which means that Ireland shares a huge market of online lotteries from many countries.

With that in mind, the Irish players have a variety of games they love to play on these online lottery sites. They include:

  • Irish lotto
  • EuroMillions
  • Daily Million
  • Lotto Plus Wednesday
  • Lotto Plus Raffle
  • Lotto 5-4-3-2-1
  • Lotto Plus Saturday
  • Millionaire Raffle
  • Telly Bingo
  • National Lottery

National Lottery tickets and scratch cards are sold locally by the assigned retail agent. However, the state-owned lottery began offering the facility to buy these lottery tickets online.

Though technically banned, Ireland now allows for great opportunities for both residents and visitors to enjoy playing lottery games. These platforms are both online and physical.

Irish players’ favorite games
Payment methods in Ireland

Payment methods in Ireland

Ireland’s online lottery sites have made available several payment methods when players deposit and withdraw their winnings. Operators only accept transparent Euro and Pound Sterling money transactions to provide their players with safe and fair environments. To achieve this goal, online lottery sites have made available credit and debit cards of both VISA and MasterCard. Other alternatives that have proven efficient and reliable include Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, and PaySafe.

The National Lottery prizes are always paid out as tax-free sums. However, the National Lottery retains all the unclaimed prizes, and the state utilizes them for promotion. Prizes earned in the other lottery games must be claimed within a stipulated 90 days from the official drawing dates. According to the Irish Bookmarkers Association’s safer gambling code, it is crucial to note that there is a ban on credit card payments for Irish players. This ban came to effect in January 2022.

Payment methods in Ireland


Is lottery playing tax-free in Ireland?

Yes. The National Lottery prizes are paid out as tax-free sums. However, a player needs to check the country’s tax details.

What is the legal gambling age in Ireland?

In Ireland, the legal gambling age is 18 years.

How much is a gaming license in Ireland?

Gaming licenses in Ireland cover different periods. For an annual cover, the excise duty is €630. For a three-month cover, the excise duty is €175

Who regulates gambling in Ireland?

The National Lottery Regulator oversees the gambling scene in Ireland.

Which is the best online lottery site in Ireland?

Being the Irish Lotto ticket agent, TheLotter is the best online lottery site.

Is online gambling legal in Ireland?

Yes. Under the government’s gambling legislation, gambling and any other gaming operations in Ireland are legal.

Are online lottery sites in Ireland safe?

Thanks to the National Lottery Regulator, all online lottery sites are held to quality security measures that ensure all gaming services they provide are safe for all players.

What currency is accepted for the online lottery?

Both local and international operators accept Euro and Pound Sterling money transactions

How to go about claiming prizes?

A player can claim their prize from the National Lottery website within a stipulated 90 days from the drawing dates.

Do I have to do ID verification?

The answer is yes. A player is required to verify their ID. This is essential for regulatory and security purposes.