Irish operators adopt credit card and whistle-to-whistle ad ban

| By Conor Mulheir
Bookmakers in Ireland have agreed to an industry-wide ban on the use of credit cards for gambling, both online and in shops, and to a pre-watershed whistle-to-whistle advertising ban around live sport.

The changes have been introduced via an updated code of practice for safer gambling from the Irish Bookmakers’ Association (IBA).

The code outlines a range of industry commitments across player protection measures, and all IBA members including operators such as Boylesports, Flutter Entertainment and Entain will now adopt the latest version of the code.

The IBA said the code represents a set of minimum commitments to be made by the industry, and that many operators will go above and beyond the provisions it sets out.

The credit card ban has already been adopted by some operators such as Flutter, with others making the necessary technological changes within their businesses no later than the end of this year.

The introduction of a whistle-to-whistle advertising ban will see a restriction on gambling ads shown around live sport before 9pm, running from 5 minutes before each event until 5 minutes after, however it will not apply to horse racing or greyhound racing.

“We recognise that there is a need for the industry to continue to develop the highest of standards for safer gambling,” said IBA chairperson, Sharon Byrne. “We believe in particular, that the credit card ban and the ‘whistle-to-whistle’ advertising restrictions are significant steps on that path.”

“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.”

Byrne concluded by saying that she hopes those operators who have not yet committed to the new safer gambling code will do so before long, and that the IBA looks forward to working with Ireland’s proposed gaming regulator to adopt further evidence-based safer gambling measures.

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