Ireland Gambling

Bookmakers in Ireland have reached an agreement on a pre-watershed whistle-to-whistle ban during live sport and an industry-wide ban on credit cards.

The pair of initiatives come as part of an amended code of practice for safe gambling introduced by the Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA), the representative body of the country’s bookmaking industry.

According to an IBA statement on Sunday, all its members, including industry giants Boylesports, Flutter Entertainment and Entain, have agreed to adopt the plan.

Under the code, operators are committed to the removal of credit cards as a payment method both for online and retail transactions.

This is already the case for some operators, and the rest have said that they will make the necessary technological changes in their businesses as son as is possible, and no later than the end of the year.

The industry will also introduce a restriction on TV advertising on live sport before 9pm, involving live sporting events and running from five minutes before the event until five minutes after.

Commenting on the measures, IBA Chairperson Sharon Byrne stated: “We recognise that there is a need for the industry to continue to develop the highest of standards for safer gambling.

“We believe in particular, that the credit card ban and the ‘whistle-to-whistle’ advertising restrictions are significant steps on that path.”

However, while the IBA’s measures are clearly a strong step, the company emphasised that the code alone is not the answer to problem gambling, and Ms Byrne stated “there is more that can be done within the forum provided by a regulator”.

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