The Paddy Power owner, which also owns Betfair, Sky Bet and bingo site Tombola, calculates that it spent £48m ($53.7m) across the two jurisdictions in the first half of 2022. The total in 2021 amounted to £93m.
“Yes, we’ve taken some pain,” said Grant. “But we think that this is absolutely the right thing to do, and we think everyone else is going to have to do the same thing eventually.
“It’s very simple for me, it’s about building a sustainable business. We don’t want customers for 10 minutes; we want them for 10 years. No one wants to benefit from others’ misfortune.”
Ireland is currently preparing the way for gambling regulation, which will have huge significance for Flutter, given it has headquarters in the country, along with the several betting shops and websites that operate in the jurisdiction.
Last month, the Irish Government took a major step in the process, with Minister of State for Law Reform James Browne appointing Senior Civil Servant Anne Marie Caulfield as the new CEO Designate of the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland.
Legislation is planned for publication this autumn, with the new rules aiming to modernise near-90-year-old laws governing betting in Ireland.
The regulatory authority is expected to come into effect in 2023, and will have the power to licence betting businesses, including websites, bookies and casinos, along with the ability to sanction operators that break the law.
Such sanctions could include the removal of licences, overseeing advertising, requiring a contribution to aid problem gamblers, and giving more general consumer protection.