Betting Sites

How to Find the Best Betting Site

Whether you’ve been betting with your bookie for years or are brand new to the betting market, finding a comprehensive, high-quality betting site is essential to your needs.

As the internet is filled with a wide array of options, finding the perfect one can take time as you look for a site that not only offers a selection of sports and betting markets but also has your security as their priority.

Placing bets is a popular way to gamble in Ireland and, because your safety is our top priority, we have gone out of our way to do the research and create a curated list of all the best sites. Check out the wealth of free resources we have put together for you to select a betting site that is licensed, secure and reputable and place your bets with confidence as you make some money from your favourite flutter.

Our reviews have been compiled after lots of legwork and comprehensively summarises each operator’s offerings in an easy to read review. Once you have selected a recommended betting site, you can rest in the knowledge that you have access to the best betting site available, know all the features, and promotional offers and can place your bets securely as your details are encrypted for your protection.

What makes a good betting site?

With our wealth of experience, we know what makes a good betting site – but we also know how hard it is to track down the safest and most efficient betting operator. There are simply too many options available online and, without a great deal of knowledge, it can be tricky to tell the good from the bad and the ugly.

When we recommend a betting site, we look at the following elements and rate them against some stringent criteria to make sure you are betting with the cream of the crop:

  • Licensing
  • Encryption
  • Auditing
  • Betting markets
  • Promotional offers
  • Customer support

Each review covers the above in detail to ensure that you are fully equipped to make the right choice. Our site also details each of the above separately so that you know all there is to know about what makes a reputable operator and can browse the internet with confidence to do your own research.

How do we evaluate betting operators?

While your enjoyment is a large priority, your safety is even more important, so the criteria we rate most heavily is the reputability of the operator. Our recommended betting sites have to be licensed by one or more gambling authorities to make the grade as having the relevant permissions to offer services to Irish residents can’t be overlooked.

Gambling license

Many online bookies are licensed by the United Kingdom Gaming Commission (UKGC) that has a stringent set of rules that need to be followed for the license to be issued and maintained. An online betting site that has a UKGC license is an excellent indicator of reputability and can be trusted to have a reputation you can rely on. There are a number of other gambling authorities that can be trusted too. We’re sure to mention these trusted organisations in our reviews.

Independently audited

Reputable sports betting sites that are audited by an independent 3rd party agency like eCOGRA, have received a stamp of approval to confirm that the business is run ethically, and have payouts that can be verified to make it to the top of our list. Whether the site has been around for years or is fairly new, operators who make it through the auditing process can be trusted and offer you the reassurance that you can bet with confidence.

Secure transactions

When it comes to transacting online, taking the necessary care to make sure your personal and financial details are safe at all times goes a long way to ensure you can place bets and make purchases, risk-free.

Operators who offer Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption take extra steps to protect your details behind bank-level security to ensure that only permitted role players have visibility of just enough information to lead to a completed purchase.

Banking

Each betting operator should make a range of banking options available so that you can select the payment method that best suits your needs. Whether you are placing your bets before the match or while watching a live game, you should be able to transact and pay for bets using:

  • Credit cards
  • Debit cards
  • Electronic bank transfer
  • E-wallets
  • Prepaid vouchers

When the time comes to receive your winnings, these options should be made available as withdrawal options so that you can receive your prize within just a few days.

Our operators are also open and transparent about any transaction fees or commissions, whether they are to place bets or receive winnings. While paying fees are sometimes unavoidable, they should be reasonable and as low as possible.

Range of betting markets

Whether you choose to place your bets while you are also logged in to play casino games or select a betting operator that specialises in specific sports, the operator should make it easy for you to enjoy a wide range of markets in a one-stop-shop arrangement that doesn’t require the registration of extra usernames and passwords.

We recommend operators who offer as many of the following markets as possible:

  • Live steam betting
  • In-play betting
  • Pre-match betting
  • Single and multiple bets
  • Accumulator Betting

Depending on your sport of choice, betting on the league or international matches should be a satisfying process that leaves you excited and enthralled as you correctly predict the outcome, goalscorer, margins and more.

Competitive odds and pricing

Sports betting online gives you the option to shop around for the best odds as you predict the outcome of matches and live games. When you do your research, you look for statements like Best Odds Guaranteed or Enhanced Odds to give you the confidence to bet with one operator over another.

We will also let you know whether it is possible to unlock extra perks by creating an account or registering with the loyalty rewards programs to access even better odds or lower percentages and commissions.

Our reviews and recommendations will give you a sense of what you can expect and make it easy for you to find the operator best suited to your needs.

Customer support

When it comes to placing bets online, having access to a well-trained customer support team who are fully equipped to answer any questions, patiently explain the process, and offer advice goes a long way to making sure you enjoy your betting experience.

When we rate and review operators, we make a point of getting in touch with the support team by phone, email or live chat to see whether they are responsive to queries and answer our questions efficiently.

Bonus and promotional offers

Online operators face a great deal of competition which is why periodic promotions and bonus offers are used as an excellent marketing tool to get you to give their services a go. Registered members often have access to even better odds or lower commissions as a token of thanks for their loyalty which makes for a massive drawcard to return time and time again.

Aside from signing up for new player welcome bonuses, registered customers and VIPs get given the option to tweak their bets as they work within the odds framework for the chance at a larger payout.

User experience

All of the above should make for a pleasant user experience that keeps you coming back for more. Not only should the software be of award-winning standard and provided by a trusted sports betting developer, but the site should boast a seamless design that follows a logical thought process from the moment you log in to that final confirmation of your bet.

Recommended sports betting operators who go the extra mile and make their user experience mobile-friendly receive higher ratings than sites where the pages do not automatically shrink to fit the smaller screens of smartphones and tablets. Placing bets on the go should be effortless and enjoyable.

What kinds of betting markets should I look for?

While smaller and more recently established sites may not offer every sport you can think of, here are some of the more popular choices available to Irish players that should make up the standard selection.

Football –  Punters get offered the chance to place bets on Irish Premier League, English Premiership, Champions League, UEFA and World Cup. With betting markets to suit every pocket, you should be able to bet on live matches before kick-off and while the game is on the go.

Horse Racing – Place your bets on your favourite races like the Irish and UK Grand National, Galway and Cheltenham Races, Fairyhouse, Punchestown and the rest as you tweak the available betting options to your needs before the winning horse crosses the finish line.

Tennis – In addition to bets that can get placed on games at Wimbledon, the French and Australian Opens and more, a few operators offer bonus offers for all the top tennis tournaments as they give you the chance to bet on live-streamed games and place in-play bets.

Our recommended betting sites also give you the chance to place bets on greyhound races, hurling games, golf and many other sports throughout the season. Check out our resource of which games can be bet on for more details of exactly which markets are offered by each reputable operator.

Should I shop around for the best odds?

Odds and pricing of bets can make a big difference to your sports betting experience. Those in the know often navigate between sites as they shop around. The Irish sports betting market is fiercely competitive with a wide range of variances in odds that are sufficient enough motivators to create an account with more than just one operator.

Just as you might shop around for groceries, finding the best sports betting operator can depend on whether you are willing to trade off the best odds for a lengthier payout process or go with the operator that may have a more user-friendly site.

Are bonus offers and promotions worthwhile?

Online operators are well aware that you have a choice when it comes to selecting a sports betting site that will offer you the best service. By enticing players with sweet deals, they can ensure new customers give their services a try and guarantee existing customers will keep coming back for more.

When you use bonus offers to your advantage, you can not only score a few free bets but also benefit from better odds or an enhanced experience especially around the time of big matches like World Cups or international tournaments.

FAQs

Top Betting Sites FAQs

Reputable betting sites are required to adhere to regulations and protocols outlined by licensing authorities like the UKGC. The Gambling Act also adds an extra layer of player protection and has a wealth of resources available that offer information and advice.

Sports betting odds can differ a great deal from one operator to the next and that is why shopping around for the best odds are your best odds to ensure you are getting the more profitable prospects. Look out for special offers and bonuses around significant matches and games to benefit from promotions like free bets and enhanced odds benefit each bet.

As long as you use our guidelines and place bets with reputable online operators, you will not be liable to pay tax on your winnings.

Given the speed at which live matches and games get played, sports bets tend to have a 24 hour turnaround time from the start of the game to when winnings get paid out. Sites that advertise waiting periods of longer than 48 hours should be rare as there are few delays to receiving your prize.