Paddy Power’s owner Flutter Entertainment has announced a range of new player protection initiatives for the Irish market.
Among these is a credit card ban, similar to what was introduced in the UK by the country’s regulator last April.
The operator will also commit millions of euros towards researching more about problem gambling and providing education and access to treatment.
What will Flutter introduce?
Flutter’s credit card blocks will come into force from the beginning of April. The operator will apply this ban across all of its entities, including Paddy Power, Sky Bet, and Betfair.
The credit card ban will apply to both online betting and in retail stores throughout the Republic of Ireland.
Beyond the credit card ban, Flutter has also announced a voluntary whistle-to-whistle ban. The operator will cease all advertising during live sporting events broadcasted before 9pm.
The only two exceptions to the whistle-to-whistle ban are greyhound and horse racing events. The company’s whistle-to-whistle ban will begin in May.
Flutter will also donate 1% of its annual revenue to research, education and treatment initiatives by 2023.
The operator has announced that it will give this money to “emerging initiatives” throughout the country and the Gambling Awareness Trust. The figure is expected to be around €3 million; currently, the operator donates €450,000 to the Gambling Awareness Trust.
Could a mandatory gambling ad ban be on the way?
Last month, a gambling bill was put forward in Ireland. If passed, the legislation would ban all gambling advertising in the country that was not through sponsorships.
The Labour Party introduced the bill. Those pushing for legislation argue that the lines between gambling and the general enjoyment of sport have been blurred, with many linking sports to gambling.
Other critics pointed to gambling advertising being legal before watershed as an area of particular concern.
“We recognise that gambling has undergone a technological transformation”
Commenting on its new, safer gambling measures, Connor Grant, Chief Executive of Flutter UK & Ireland, 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 understand that legislating for these developments is complex and may take some time.
“We have decided to introduce several measures, well in advance of the legislation, to enhance the effectiveness of our safer gambling policies in Ireland.”