Travel Guide: Casinos in IrelandBy Angelica Malin
Ah, the luck of the Irish. That is likely one of the most uttered sentences by foreigners that attempt to sound cheeky while visiting Emerald Isle. However, few tourists know that Ireland has some of Europe’s most liberal gambling laws, allowing for many popular luck-testing options.
From poker to sports betting and lotteries, Ireland offers it all. Going by the latest figures, there are now about twenty gambling establishments on Irish territory, found in cities like Dublin, Cork, Leinster, and Galway. These vary in size and wagering limits, but most feature classic table action, poker, and reel spinning options. Speaking of the latter, casino games like slots are very popular, even on the internet. Globally, they account for more than 70% of all gaming revenues.
Below, we list what many seasoned veterans consider to be the best casinos in the land of saints and scholars.
Playland Casino – Dublin
Located on Talbot Street in Dublin, Playland Casino is a brisk three-minute walk from Abbey Street and five minutes away, on foot, from Busáras. Playland is a twenty-five-minute drive from the Dublin International Airport, and it is also reachable by train, given that it is near Connolly Station. According to most, this is the busiest gambling spot in all of the Pale.
It is open weekdays from 10 AM to 1 AM, with the working hours getting a half an hour extension on weekends. The venue itself is a modern one, making use of traditional casino motifs. Note that there are no croupiers at Playland. All the tables are electronic. Furthermore, the only table game on offer here is roulette in its automated form. However, if you are into slots, there are two hundred spinners to enjoy here. They range from ole-time fruit machines to super-advanced spinners. There are even a few progressive slots on Playland’s gaming floor. So, make sure to look out for those.
Nearby attractions are the St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, the GPO Museum, and Abbey Theatre. For a snack, patrons can exit the casino and walk to a McDonald’s a few kilometers away, or they can try the close by Eatokyo Asian Street Food shop, Vintage Kitchen, Restaurant Six, all of which are less than half a kilometer away.
Macau Sporting Club – Cork
You can find Macau Sporting Club Casino on 16th St Patrick’s Street in Cork. It is a 1,200 square meter venue that has the same owners as the Macau Casino in Dublin. Gambling enthusiasts arriving from Cork International Airport can visit this locale by public transport or a twenty-minute taxi ride. It is open every day from 2 PM to 6 AM. Specific tables become active only once a pre-defined number of guests arrive at the establishment.
The Macau Sporting Club has no dress code. It also features a modern design, akin to most standard casinos in gambling hotspots. It boasts a dedicated poker room and a bar. While the poker tournaments are this establishment’s signature attraction, it also features twenty table games and an extensive collection of slots and video poker machines.
There are no lodging accommodations at the Macau Sporting Club, but the Imperial Hotel Cork and the Metropole Hotel are nearby options. Restaurants in the area include Elbow Lane Brew and Smokehouse, Liberty Grill, and Cafe Spresso. For entertainment, the City Limits Comedy Club is a seven-minute walk from the Macau Sporting Club.
The Sporting Emporium – Dublin
Situated just off Grafton, The Sporting Emporium is a venue backed by famous Irish businessman Dermot Desmond. It opened its doors in 2005 and quickly established itself as Ireland’s leading luxury casino and the nation’s premium card room. Its gaming floor is home to a diverse selection of table games such as blackjack, roulette, punto banco, and brag. Bet limits here range from fifty cents to several thousand pounds.
Public transportation can carry tourists from Dublin International Airport to the Sporting Emporium, and there are shuttle services that regularly make their way to and from this casino. Ha’penny Bridge, Christ Church Cathedral, and the Spire of Dublin are within walking distance of this spot, so is the Little Museum of Dublin. Quality dining options nearby are Glovers Alley, Tang Café, and SOLE Seafood and Grill.
The Sporting Emporium is home to fourteen poker tables, six roulette ones, and it is one of the only casinos in the country to offer Free Bet blackjack, as well as Sic Bo. Know that there are no slots here and no video poker machines.
Final Bit of Advice
Ireland has its fair share of quality gambling establishments. Other ones worth visiting besides those mentioned above include Carlton Casino Club,4 Kings Casino & Card Club, and Colossus Casino, all in Dublin. Fitzpatrick’s Casino in Limerick and Claude’s Casino in Galway are also worth a visit.
About the Author
Shelly Schiff has been working in the gambling industry since 2009, mainly on the digital side of things, employed by OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos.com. However, over her eleven-year career, Shelly has provided content for many other top interactive gaming websites. She knows all there is to know about slots and has in-depth knowledge of the most popular table games. Her golden retriever Garry occupies most of her leisure time. Though, when she can, she loves reading Jim Thompson-like crime novels.