It’s often cited as one of the realities of Brexit that there is a blurring of the lines between Irish and British business. In fact, there is such crossover that one almost assumes a brand available in the UK will simultaneously be trading in Ireland. Indeed, it’s difficult to think of major UK casino or betting brands that do not also have a presence in Ireland.
So, it may have come as a surprise to some that Mansion Group – the gaming group behind Mansion Casino, Casino.com Slots Heaven and MansionBet – has made its first foray into the Irish market this summer. An announcement of Mansion Group’s licence was made in late May 2019, with the Gibraltar-based business announcing just before Ireland played Gibraltar in a EURO 2020 qualifier, which Mansion sponsored.
Irish gaming laws to get upgrade
It enters the Irish market at an interesting time. While the betting and iGaming industry flourishes on the Emerald Isle, there is a concerted push by the Irish government to update the archaic gambling laws in the country. Much of the legislation in Ireland is actually derived from the 1931 Betting Act and the Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1956. Much of the gaming machine laws, for example, are designed with seaside arcades and penny slots in mind.
Mansion has wide recognition in the UK, currently sponsoring Premier League club Bournemouth and formerly sponsoring of Tottenham Hotspur. The group has won several awards, including “Most Responsible Online Gambling Operator” at the Capital Finance International Awards 2018 and “Online Casino Operator of the Year” at the International Gaming Awards 2018. The former accolade should stand the group in good stead as Ireland’s new gaming laws intend to put player protections and operator responsibility to the fore.
Further expansion for Mansion Group
It has been a good year for Mansion Group, which enjoys a loyal fanbase of casino players and punters. When we tried the live version of Casino.com, we were pleased to find a slick, well rounded live dealer platform powered by Playtech. However, the company has also struck a deal with Microgaming, and has offered a range of that developer’s top titles since May 2019. Other software providers found prominently on Mansion’s platforms include NetEnt, Red Tiger Gaming and Blueprint Gaming.
Mansion Group has been forthright in its assertion that entering the market in Ireland means trying to find a seat at the table among established competitors, but it’s a challenge the company seems to relish. Indeed, Ireland does not seem to be the final frontier for Mansion Group, and further international expansion has been mooted.
Of course, when any gaming group speaks of international expansion at the moment, America is the first word on people’s lips. Up to 39 states could feasibly have online sports betting and casino sites in the coming years after the Supreme Court decision on sports betting last year. Already, states like New Jersey have seen swathes of European gaming operators enter the legal online sportsbook and casino market. It isn’t yet abundantly clear if Mansion Group intends to follow that pathway, or if it will concentrate on extending its presence in Europe, Canada and Australasia.