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Sinn Féin launches bill to ban credit card gambling in Ireland

| By Marese O'Hagan
An Irish legislator has launched legislation that would ban the use of credit cards for online and retail betting in Ireland.

The bill, titled Betting (Prohibition on Use of Credit Cards) Act 2021, aims to amend the Betting Act 1931 to ban the use of credit cards, in order to encourage responsible gambling. It was introduced by Thomas Gould TD, spokesperson on addiction, recovery and wellbeing for opposition party Sinn Féin.

Following the outlining of license conditions in the original legislation, the new bill would add that those who apply for a license must agree to not accept bets that have been placed using a credit card.

E-wallets will also be banned unless the payment provider can provide proof that there are checks in place to prevent the use of credit cards.

If the bill comes into force, those who already hold licenses will be subject to the new credit card prohibitions within three months of the license’s commencement.

In addition, if the bill is violated, offenders could face a fine and up to two years in prison.

“I am really proud to launch this legislation that would see credit cards banned in online and in-shop betting,” said Gould.

“Protecting vulnerable people has to be at the fore of gambling regulation. While the government still haven’t published a Gambling Control Bill, Sinn Féin are committed to bringing forward credible protections that will help to protect vulnerable people.”

In August, bookmakers in Ireland agreed to a complete ban on the use of credit cards for gambling purposes, as well as a ban on live sport whistle-to-whistle advertising pre-watershed.

“We need to make sure that those in the throes of addiction aren’t gambling with money they don’t have and can’t afford,” added Gould.

“I am calling on all parties, and independents, to support this legislation and ensure that we see true protection for the most vulnerable in our society.”

Earlier this year Flutter blocked the use of credit cards in Ireland as part of a new safer gambling initiative.

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