The Irish love their sport, of that there can be little doubt. The Emerald Isle is littered with sports stadia of all shapes and sizes, racecourses, racing stables and athletic grounds, while Irish-based bookmakers do a roaring trade on some of the bigger sporting events in the Republic of Ireland such as the Irish Grand National and the All Ireland GAA finals at Croke Park.
With a vast array of sporting events taking place in Ireland each year, it's little wonder that the Irish love a bet and many Irish Betting Sites offer a vast range of promotions and bonuses aimed at punters on the Emerald Isle. All of the leading UK and Ireland bookmakers offer some sort of welcome bonus to new customers and these take many forms, ranging from a simple free bet promotion to a matched deposit bonus or a risk-free initial bet.
With many free bets on offer from the leading betting operators, it is important that you consider carefully which bookmaker and bonus is best for you. All of the main bookies offer a wide range of betting markets on football while the vast majority cover horse racing, however if you prefer to bet on other sports such as hurling, Gaelic football or greyhounds, then it is vital that you check whether your preferred bookmaker actually covers these sports.
Similarly, some betting operators might not cover your preferred betting markets and it is important that you take this into consideration. As a rule, you're generally on safe ground with the likes of William Hill, Ladbrokes and BetVictor, however some of the smaller online bookmakers may have a limited range of markets on the less popular sporting events.
With regard to the welcome bonuses on offer from the leading bookies, these are generally simple to understand and easy to claim. A free bet bonus is usually awarded once an initial deposit and a first bet has been made, for example 'bet €10 get €30'. In this instance, once you have deposited and wagered an initial €10, you will receive a free bet bonus of €30 which can be used on any market subject to terms and conditions. These Free Bets cannot simply be cashed in, it must be used to place bets and you will need to meet any wagering requirements before you can withdraw winnings from the free bet bonus.
Matched deposit bonus
A matched deposit bonus follows a similar format. Once you have made an initial deposit, the bookmaker in question will match this deposit up to a certain amount with a free bet to the same value, for example 'Matched deposit bonus up to €100'. In this instance, you may deposit any amount up to €100 and the bookmaker will match this penny for penny, for example deposit €40 and you will then have a total of €80 to bet with. Wagering requirements also come into play here, you cannot simply withdraw the deposit bonus.
Some bookmakers offer a risk-free bet to new customers and these are similarly easy to understand. In a nutshell, once you have placed bets as a new customer, the bookmaker in question will refund losing bets up to a predetermined amount, for example: 'risk-free bet up to €20'. Once again, terms and conditions are attached to such offers and any wagering requirements will need to be met.
Irish Horse Racing
Irish horse racing takes centre stage on the Emerald Isle and it is generally acknowledged that the sport of kings is seen at its best here. The number of racecourses in Ireland is proportionately large given the relatively sparse population and Irish-bred racehorses are regarded as some of the best in the world. As such, the vast majority of the leading bookmakers operating in the Republic of Ireland offer a wide range of markets devoted to horse racing and many promotions and bonuses are geared towards this particular sport.
For racing fans, it is important that you consider whether a particular bookmaker offers Best Odds Guaranteed for UK and Irish Horse Racing as this will guarantee you the very best odds for your racing bet. In fairness, all of the leading betting operators do actually offer this but it is vital that you check before joining. Similarly, it is important that you consider the range of horse racing markets on offer, some bookies will devote more coverage to this sport than others while odds will certainly vary between betting operators.
As a rule you will find that all of the established bookmakers offer a similar range of sports coverage and betting markets, while the welcome bonuses on offer generally follow a similar pattern. Of course there's nothing to stop you registering with many bookmakers and claiming all the relevant welcome bonuses although you should remember that you will need to continue betting with each one before you can withdraw any winnings made through the bonus.
An advantage of joining many bookmakers is that you will guarantee yourself the best odds on offer across a wider range of sports, plus you will also ensure that your preferred sport or betting market is available to you. With a great many online bookmakers offering their services, it can be a daunting task choosing which one is best for you but on the whole, a small bit of research will help you come to a decision.
Fans of online bingo, casino games or slots should also consider whether their chosen bookmaker actually offers any of these options. Many of the larger betting operators offer players a dedicated casino or bingo halls in which to play and sometimes the sportsbook welcome bonus is complemented with a number of free spins on selected casino games, for example 'bet €10 get €30 free bets plus 200 free spins'.
Obviously, online betting is meant to be fun but the fact is that you can grab yourself some additional value by taking advantage of the many welcome bonuses on offer. Do some research of your own and get yourself off to the best possible start.