Flutter Entertainment to Introduce Irish Credit Card Ban
Flutter Entertainment introduces a ban on credit cards from April as a responsible gambling measure. The Paddy Power owner will also be adopting a whistle-to-whistle advert ban from the beginning of May.
Flutter Entertainment will introduce a ban on credit cards being used to fund Irish accounts from the beginning of April. The company has voluntarily decided to impose this restriction as part of the operator’s drive on responsible gambling.
The change will apply to the Paddy Power, Betfair and Sky Bet brands for both online and retail transactions. Customers who have a credit card as their current payment method will need to change their payment method to an acceptable alternative. The company state the technology changes needed to implement the changes should take six weeks to complete, with a total ban on credit cards introduced from 6 April.
Sources close to the company estimate the Irish customer base that use a credit card to fund their accounts is in single digits.
Conor Grant, Chief Executive Officer of Flutter UK & Ireland, said of the changes on Flutter’s website: “There is an extensive range of safer gambling measures already in place in our Irish business. There are clear benefits if these or similar measures were to be adopted market-wide.”
“in Ireland. 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.”
Betting with a credit card is still permitted in Ireland, unlike Great Britain who introduced a ban in April last year. The Gambling Commission, following its review of online gambling and the Government’s Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures.
Using a credit card was more prevalent in England, Scotland & Wales than in Ireland. Of the 24 million adults in those countries who gamble, 10.5 million do so online, and the commission estimated that 800,000 of those used credit cards to fund their accounts. This commission’s research showed that of these 800,000, 22% were problem gamblers.
Flutter states that they send out over 8,227 safer gambling messages per month, and after reviewing customers accounts, they had targeted 157 customers with safer gambling interactions.
The company will also be restricting TV advertisements on all live sports that are broadcast before 9 pm. The whistle-to-whistle ban will include GAA, soccer, rugby, golf, tennis, boxing, basketball, athletics, American football, darts and motorsports. It will be in place from five minutes before the event until five minutes after. The ban on TV advertisements will not apply to e horseracing or greyhound racing.
In addition to the credit card and advertising ban, Flutter has also committed to increasing its contributions to safer gambling organisations. Over the next three years, the company will increase the money it gives towards the research, education, and treatment of problem gambling to 1% of its Net Gaming Revenue (NGR) from Irish customers.
The company estimate this contribution will be €1.25m this year and will increase to approximately €3m in 2023.
This voluntary contribution will be in addition to the €450,000 that it donates to the Gambling Awareness Trust in Ireland. Flutter in the communication state these new measures will complement existing measures that the company has introduced in recent years, which they have introduced without a regulator being in place. They add they have invested heavily in a predictive model that uses behavioural analytics to predict harm before it occurs.