Ireland To Ban Credit Cards for Online Gambling
Following the prohibition of credit cards for online banking transactions in the UK, Ireland is set to do the same by 2023.
Flutter Entertainment, the parent company behind major online betting brands such as Betfair, Paddy Power, and Sky Bet, already enacted a complete ban on credit card transactions for its Irish customers back in April. Other major betting operators are likely to follow suit soon.
James Brown, a junior minister in the Department of Justice and Equality, said that gambling should have been banned long ago. According to him, when this ban does come into practice, it will be either part of an upcoming gambling bill or enacted within a new regulatory body to be formed by the end of the year. The new bill is expected to be released by late summer.
Under the current law, the Gambling Control Bill from 2013, brick-and-mortar casinos are illegal. However, private clubs can still house betting machines and roulette, poker, and blackjack tables. More importantly, online gambling venues and sportsbooks are entirely legal.
The shocking findings by the Gambling Awareness Trust show that as many as 55,000 children between the ages of 11 and 16 have developed serious gambling problems due to online betting. Additionally, over two-thirds of people over 18 in Ireland have participated in some form of gambling.
A similar story was recorded by the UK’s Gambling Commission, which carried out research before enacting its credit card ban. An estimated 800,000 people were using credit cards to fund their gambling habits, and more than 20% of them could be classed as having a severe gambling addiction.
Barry Grant, chief executive at Problem Gambling Ireland, believes that most gamblers who pile up huge debts on credit cards are not fully aware of the consequences of their actions. While a credit card ban may not be enough to stop rampant online gambling in Ireland, it is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, Irish authorities believe.