1 September 2021
By Roger Jones
There’s no question that online betting and gambling is more fun and accessible than its land-based counterparts. However, it has also brought forward the dangers of gambling addiction, leading to governing bodies and operators looking for ways to prevent it. For that reason, Irish bookmakers have recently imposed a ban on credit cards for online betting while also restricting adds for live sport.
As an updated code of practice for safer gambling, the Irish Bookmakers’ Association has launched new player protection measures. The most significant among them all is the ban on credit cards for betting, supported by some of the industry heavyweights.
All Major Irish Bookies Stand Behind the Decision
The betting ban on credit cards isn’t anything new. Flutter announced earlier this year that it’s banning credit cards deposits completely in Ireland. Flutter Entertainment is the owner and operator of major bookmakers such as Sky Vegas, Sky Casino, Paddy Power, and Betfair, and the IBA is following in its footsteps.
So far, all the major Irish bookmakers have supported this decision, including Boylesports, Paddy Power, and Entain. Those are the only operators on the list right now, with bet365, Betway, and 32Red set to adopt it too.
According to Sharon Byrne from the IBA, the industry has always been looking to develop the highest standards for safer gambling. The credit card bans and strict advertising restrictions are major steps on that path, which could lead to the introduction of new measures. Of course, it would take more than just a credit card ban to prevent problem gambling, but in this way, at least some punters would be protected.
The code is set to go operational later this year. It has been constantly updated by the IBA, with the latest additions being the credit card ban on betting and ads.
No More Credit Cards
One of the biggest problems for Irish gamblers was the reliance on credit cards for betting (and gambling in general). Punters in trouble would reach for the credit card chasing their losses, eventually putting themselves in even bigger debts. By banning the use of credit cards on the popular betting platforms, the IBA is hoping to prevent this problem from coming up once again.
At the same time, advertising restrictions on live sport should prevent underage gambling. Sports adds in Ireland can now be aired only after 9 PM. The whistle-to-whistle ad removal affects all live sporting events, with ads now running for 5 minutes before and after the match. However, the ban on ads will not include greyhound and horse racing.
Ms. Byrne believes that these significant changes are the widest industry initiative since the introduction of Safer Gambling Week. The IBA hopes that operators who have not adopted the code will do so soon. Further evidence-based measures are also set to go live, with the biggest operator working with the proposed regulators on their form and launch.
One thing’s for sure – the industry knows how dangerous online gambling can be, and is doing its utmost to protect its customers. Irish betting sites fully understand that online betting has undergone a major technological facelift in the past few decades, coming even closer to punters. The influence of smartphones and mobile devices has been profound, and for that reason, the industry is trying to enhance the Safer Gambling initiative policies so customers can bet safely.