Targeting Ireland – Guide for Casinos and Sportsbooks

With more and more operators revising their strategy for the UK, many are now looking at Ireland as a source of traffic. Previously, companies located outside of Ireland have not invested substantially in this jurisdiction with the exception of some UK operators focusing on retail but since pulling out.

However, this is changing with many EU based operators eyeing the Emerald Isle.

The Two Columns of Irish Betting Sector

Yes, there are lots on independent bookies out there but the two brands that dominate the market are Paddy Power and Boylesports. Almost every punter in Ireland has an account with both.

Remember, for purely online brands, you can’t offer the retail experience. This is actually an important part of the Irish betting experience.

In other words, you need to have something extra. Like an innovative promotion schedule or better prices on key events. In addition, you must deliver a quality betting experience.

Both Paddy Power and Boylesports excel at retail, and importantly, for operators with just an online presence, they link their retail and online parts of their business very well. You can deposit and withdraw into your online account from betting shops.

Therefore, you must recognise this when formulating your strategy.

Top Sports for Betting In Ireland

Ireland maps close to the UK on a customer behaviour front. Therefore, here are the popular sports for betting:

Popular Betting Sports in Ireland

  • Football
  • Horse racing
  • Tennis (especially live)
  • Golf
  • Greyhounds
  • NFL (gaining popularity)

Sports That Are Not Popular for Betting in Ireland

  • GAA (hurling and football)
  • Boxing
  • Rugby
  • Formula 1
  • MMA
  • Esports

Quality of Casino Offerings

In Ireland, sports is king from a betting standpoint. However, sports players will play casino. The two major indigenous players know this and as a result, have made sure their casino offerings are exceptionally strong.

Above all, you must understand that you are playing a double-sided game. The quality of both your casino and sports offering will influence revenue from sports acquisition campaigns.

Boylesports Casino

Across their Casino, Games and Vegas tabs, Boylesports have an exceptional casino offering. Playtech, NetEnt, IGT and many more providers are available. As a result, this helps keep customers within the Boylesports ecosystem for both sport and casino.

Add to this exceptional customer service and you face a challenging competitor if you are a new entrant.

Paddy Power Casino

Similar to Boyle’s Paddy Power Casino packs the best software available. This is what differentiates it to many white labels listed on affiliate sites. Again, the sheer range of games, offers and customer service gives Paddy Power Casino a head start on any new entrant.

Paid Search – Affiliates and Operators

As in most other territories, paid search is dominated by affiliates. However, a smart PPC strategy could result in more volume on top of any CPA PPC traffic from affiliates.

A key reason for managing your own PPC is dayparting which is especially useful for sports accounts. Here is where you can grow both sports and casino through an aggressive cross-sell plan.

For instance, managing your paid search around the sporting schedule can deliver higher conversion rates.

Strategy to Enter the Irish Market

There are two approaches

  1. Promotion heavy – Target people who have used up their welcome bonus on Boyles and Powers and are looking for a new welcome promotion.
  2. Innovation – Pick one thing and do it exceptionally well, supplement peoples activity on Boyles and Powers.

Channels

Online betting is legal in Ireland. As a result, all the common channels are available.

  • Google Ads (valid licence from Great Britain, Italy, Alderney, Isle of Man, Gibraltar or Malta for Casino) – (Irish Revenue Commissioner for Sport)
  • Microsoft Ads – (Irish Revenue Commissioner)
  • Social – (Irish Revenue Commissioner)
  • Affiliates
  • SEO
  • Sports Media Partnerships

Search Volume v UK

To give some perspective here is search volume compared with the UK

Online Casino
AVG Mth Searches
IE 1,900
UK 40,500

 

Betting Sites
AVG Mth Searches
IE 1,600
UK 33,100

Top Brand Search Volume

Brand terms drive the vast majority of the search volume in Ireland. As a result, you must develop a “competitor” strategy. See below the average monthly volume for Paddy Power, Boylesports and Bet365.

 

Search Term
AVG Mth Searches
boylesports 450,000
paddypower 673,000
bet365 368,000

Conclusion

For new market entrants, acquiring new customers in Ireland is only the first part of the equation. In order to be successful in the long term a comprehensive CRM and Brand (ATL) plan is required.

As a result, this is where most new market entrants fall down. There are localisation quirks that need to be recognised throughout the lifecycle of a customer.

The Irish are a betting nation. It is part of their cultural identity. Consequently, if you provide a quality product that offers something different than Paddy Power or Boylesports you will get loyal customers with solid lifetime value.

Bonus abuse is less prevalent in Ireland than in the UK, as betting is viewed as entertainment for the most part. So, the focus on arbing and matched betting just isn’t there at the same scale.

In conclusion, focus on product, experience and price.

If you are looking to enter the Irish market talk to us about a 360 localisation plan across direct response, ATL advertising and CRM. We will gladly give you some pointers relating specifically to your brand, so contact us and let us know your plans.