Flutter Entertainment to ban credit card usage in Ireland

Flutter Entertainment has announced plans to introduce several new measures to enhance its safer gambling protocols in Ireland.

Flutter Entertainment, the company behind Paddy Power, has announced changes to its safer gambling policies in Ireland.

Flutter to ban credit card usage

According to the announcement, the Paddy Power operator will ban the use of credit cards across customer’s online and retail accounts.

The updates to Flutter’s safer gambling policies also includes the implementation of a pre-watershed, whistle-to-whistle advertising band which will restrict advertising during live sporting events.

The Flutter brands Paddy Power, Betfair and Sky Bet, will stop accepting credit card payments from customers online and in retail betting shops from early April.

Meanwhile, the operator’s advertising restrictions are set to come into effect from 1 May 2021. From this date, the operator will no longer advertise during live sports before the 9pm watershed, however, ads will still be run during greyhound and horse racing.

Flutter will also commit 1% of its net gaming revenue to support the education, research and treatment of problem gambling. This amount is estimated to be about €1.25m in 2021.

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

The operator’s latest measures are intended to support those that are already in place to help reduce problem gambling, with the identification of harmful behaviours being detected using artificial intelligence and human monitoring.

Flutter UK & Ireland CEO Conor Grant said: “We recognise that gambling has undergone a technological transformation over the past two decades. The influence of the smartphone, social media, and on-demand streaming has been profound.

“We have not always got it right as an industry and we must ensure collectively that we are doing all we can to prevent problem gambling. The reality is that protection and promotion measures will continue to evolve over time and new measures will need to be considered to promote moderation, safety and enjoyment in this era of digital gambling.

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

These new measures come just days after Ireland’s Labour party published draft legislation that would ban all forms of gambling advertisements last week.

Labour’s proposal to ban gambling advertising

Last week, the Irish Labour party published legislation that would prohibit all kinds of gambling-related advertising with the exception of sponsorships.

According to the party, the proposal is intended to push the gambling industry away from the everyday enjoyment of entertainment, politics and sports.

Publishing the Bill, Labour spokesperson on Sport Senator Mark Wall said: “Gambling addiction is a silent scourge across the nation, which is why the Labour Party has published legislation to address this national problem. In 2019, Ireland had the 7th highest gambling spend in the world at €9.8 billion (or €379.51 per head). Our legislation to #BeatTheAds will prevent unnecessary encouragement of gambling – banning all gambling ads across the media, on public transport, billboards and online outlets.

“The gambling industry has worked particularly hard to create a strong link in our minds between major sports events and betting. Watching a match, we are bombarded with reminders to download gambling apps, or put a few bob on the score. In broadcast media alone, 75.4% of sporting broadcasts show at least one gambling advertisement. In fact, gambling ads are the most common during sporting events televised in Ireland, and the 7th most common form of ad shown in general.”