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Flutter to block credit cards in Ireland in new safer gambling initiative

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Flutter Entertainment has introduced a series of new player protection measures for its operations in Ireland, including a ban on the use of credit cards, a “whistle-to-whistle” television ad ban and a €3m research, education and treatment commitment.
Galway Ireland

Conor Grant, chief executive of Flutter UK & Ireland, said that he welcomed the Irish Government’s commitment to bring in specific regulations governing online gambling in Ireland, but added that operators must do more of their own accord.

“We recognise that gambling has undergone a technological transformation over the past two decades,” Grant said. “The influence of the smartphone, social media and on-demand streaming has been profound. We understand that legislating for these developments is complex and may take some time.

“We have decided to introduce several measures, well in advance of the legislation, to enhance the effectiveness of our safer gambling policies in Ireland.”

Flutter’s brands, which include Paddy Power, Betfair and Sky Bet, will all no longer accept credit cards for transactions, either online or in Paddy Power retail shops. The change will come into effect in early April.

From 1 May, Flutter brands will no longer advertise during live sport before the 9pm watershed, with the exception of ads during horse and greyhound racing.

In addition, the operator will invest 1% of net gaming revenue from Irish customers, a figure expected to be around €3m, into research, education and treatment of problem gambling by 2023. The funds will go to Ireland’s Gambling Awareness Trust and “emerging initiatives” across Ireland.

Flutter currently contributes €450,000 to the Gambling Awareness Trust.

Last week, Ireland’s Labour Party introduced a bill to ban all non-sponsorship gambling advertising in Ireland. The party said the bill would divorce the gambling industry from the everyday enjoyment of sports and entertainment.

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