Two major measures
Sportsbooks in Ireland have come to an agreement that they will no longer accept credit cards as a form of payment both online and in-store wagering. They have also accepted a whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling ads during pre-watershed televised live sports.
various commitments from the industry with regard to player protection
The two measures are a part of the latest version of the Irish Bookmakers Association’s (IBA) code of practice for safer gambling. This updated version of the Safer Gambling Code, released Sunday, lists various commitments from the industry with regard to player protection.
Operators committed to making changes
All of the IBA members, including Flutter Entertainment, BoyleSports, Entain, the Kindred Group, Betway, and Bet365, will be adopting the most recent version of the code. The updated code will become fully operational in 2021 and marks a set of minimum commitments that the industry will meet.
Some operators, including Flutter, have already removed credit cards from the possible payment options. Other businesses will be making the required changes as quickly as possible, and certainly by the end of the year.
The whistle-to-whistle gambling ad ban will pertain to live televised sport that takes place before 9pm. The restriction covers five minutes before the beginning of the event and will last until five minutes after it ends. The ban does not cover greyhound racing or horse racing events.
Protecting Irish gamblers
IBA chairperson Sharon Byrne said the industry was aware of the need to introduce the highest safe gambling standards, calling the two new measures “significant steps on that path.”
Byrne added that, while progress has been made in recent years, “This code is not the answer to problem gambling, and we believe there is more that can be done within the forum provided by a regulator.” The IBA has been calling for the creation of a gambling regulator in Ireland for some time. The Irish government has committed to introducing such a body in the near future and to updating the country’s main gambling legislation.
so much damage to families and individuals”
Irish President Michael D. Higgins last month described the exposure that Irish people have to gambling-related ads as a “scourge”. Having met with people who have struggled with gambling addiction, he welcomed a debate on the topic of gambling ads, referring to the “dangerous gambling advertisements which continue to cause so much damage to families and individuals.”
Other nations also have similar restrictions when it comes to credit cards and whistle-to-whistle ad bans. The neighboring UK authorities introduced a ban on the use of credit cards for gambling purposes in April 2020. The idea behind it was to stop people from using debt accumulating payment methods to fund their gambling. The UK has had a whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling ads in place since August 2019.