Credit card and whistle-to-whistle bans introduced in Ireland

By Peter Lynch

Bookmakers in Ireland have agreed to an industry-wide ban on credit cards and a pre-watershed whistle-to-whistle advertising ban for live sport.

The bans are part of an updated Code of Practice for safer gambling, introduced by the Irish Bookmakers' Association (IBA), which outlines a comprehensive set of industry commitments in terms of player protection measures.

IBA members such as Flutter Entertainment, BoyleSports and Entain will adopt the latest version of the Code.

The credit card ban will be in place both online and in shops, with the change already in place for some bookmakers, while others will introduce the necessary technology changes as soon as it is possible to do so, and no later than the end of the year.

The advertising ban meanwhile will be before 9pm, and will run from five minutes before the live sporting event until five minutes after, but will not include horse racing or greyhound racing.

IBA Chairperson Sharon Byrne has welcomed the changes, but noted that more can be done to help prevent problem gambling.

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

Byrne added that the introduction of a regulator is key to any progress in the country, saying: “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.”


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