Advertising and Credit Card Bans Come to Ireland
Irish bookmakers have agreed to implement an industry-wide ban on credit card payments and a ban on pre-watershed whistle-to-whistle advertising during live sport.
The bans are part of a new Code of Practice for safer gambling that is being introduced by the Irish Bookmakers’ Association (IBA). It includes a number of industry commitments relating to player protection members. The Code is set to be adopted by a number of major operators such as Flutter Entertainment (LON: FLTR), Boyle Sport, and Entain (LON: ENT).
The credit card payment ban will be implemented both online and in retail locations, and some bookmakers have already introduced it. Others have committed to doing so as soon as they are able to implement the necessary technological changes, and it will be no later than the end of the year.
The advertising ban will mean that before 9 pm and from five minutes before a live sports event starts until five minutes after it finishes, there will be no adverts relating to gambling. However, it will not include horseracing and greyhound racing.
The IBA chairperson Sharon Byrne welcomed the changes, but she thinks that more should be done to prevent problem gambling. She said that the credit card ban and the advertising restrictions are “significant steps” as the industry strives “to continue to develop the highest standards for safer gambling”.
However, she believes that the introduction of a regulator is key to any progress being made in Ireland.
The IBA has long called for the establishment of a regulator in Ireland, and we welcome the government’s commitment to legislating for that in the coming period. 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. However, we believe that these measures continue the journey the industry has been on in recent years to ensure standards are increased for all.