New Code announced by Irish Bookmakers’ Association

Changes are on their way in the Irish gambling industry. Agreement has been reached to ban the use of credit cards bot in shops and online. There’s also to be a pre-watershed ‘whistle-to-whistle’ restriction on advertisements for live sports matches.

The Irish Bookmakers’ Association (IBA) have introduced these initiatives in an attempt to promote safer gambling. All of the IBA members will adopt their new code. This includes Flutter Entertainment (who own Paddy Power), BoyleSports, Bet365, Betway, The Kindred Group (who own 32Red and Unibet) and Entain (who own Ladbrokes).

Sharon Byrne is the chair of the IBA and sees the moves being made as “significant changes” on the path to safer gambling. “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,” said the IBA chair.

However, the chair was swift to state that the new code is “not the answer to problem gambling.” The IBA believe there is more that needs to be down “within the forum provided by a regulator.” The chair added the IBA “believe that these measures continue the journey the industry has been on in recent years to ensure standards are increased for all.” It’s expected that the code will be adopted this year not just by all IBA members but also most licensed sportsbooks or casinos.

Some operators such as Flutter Entertainment have already taken the step of not accepting credit cards as a payment method. That avoids the situation where you can easily build up a massive amount of debt. At least with a debit card you can only use the amount that is in your account.

Television advertising by betting companies has been a controversial matter for a fair while. Many feel that there are simply too many betting related advertisements. The new code will ban such adverts before 9pm. 8.59 isn’t good, 9pm is perfectly ok then.

The ban will run from five minutes before the scheduled event and five minutes after. The ban will not include horseracing or greyhound racing. Ms. Byrne said of this move: “We believe these are important changes for customers and represent the single widest industry initiative seen in Ireland since the introduction of Safer Gambling Week. We hope that those few operators who have not endorsed the code will do so before long.”

The IBA chair added that they “look forward to working with the proposed regulator to adopt further evidence-based measures.”