One of the largest bookmakers, Flutter Entertainment, unveiled its decision to suspend the use of credit cards for gambling transactions in Ireland as of the beginning of April 2021.
The company has already made the same move in the UK, and its decision to do the same in Ireland comes shortly before the planned establishment of a local independent gambling regulatory body. Furthermore, the owner of the Paddy Power, Betfair and Sky Bet brands revealed that it would impose a voluntary “whistle to whistle” ban on gambling advertising during live sports events that are aired live on TV before the 9:00 PM watershed.
The Chief Executive of Flutter Entertainment in the UK and Ireland, Conor Grant, explained that only a single-digit percentage of the company’s customers currently use credit cards to fund their betting transactions online. However, recent research in the UK has provided information that 22% of online gamblers who use credit cards for such payments can be categorised as problem gamblers.
Mr Grant further revealed that the gambling operator will boost its contribution to charity organisations focused on the promotion of responsible gambling to 1% of its total net gambling revenues in Ireland by 2023, with the money set to fund research, education and treatment of gambling-related harm. According to analysts, the donations will then be worth €3 million. This year, Flutter Entertainment is expected to contribute around €1.25 million.
Predictive Models Used by the Operator to Monitor Customers’ Gambling Behaviour
As for the Irish Government’s plans to establish an independent gambling regulatory body, Flutter Entertainment’s boss explained that the company is fully supportive of the proposal but still preferred to make the move towards the credit card ban ahead of the authorities’ timeline.
As revealed by the operator itself, the company currently uses predictive models to monitor gambling behaviour that could result in harm. For the time being, more than 8,227 customers of Flutter Entertainment’s Paddy Power and Betfair brands on the territory of Ireland receive messages promoting safer and responsible gambling. The company further revealed that 157 of its customers in the country are targeted for a safer gambling interaction.
Flutter Entertainment shared that an average of 85 users’ accounts are restricted on a monthly basis in Ireland because they are found to have not successfully completed a safer gambling interaction, suspending accounts or applying obligatory deposit limits.
For years, the Irish Government has considering the implementation of stricter measures to regulate the local gambling sector and to guarantee better protection against gambling-related harm. Unfortunately, little has been actually done in this direction. Lately, the authorities have revealed that the long-awaited review of the country’s Gambling Act is to finally begin, with the Government also planning to create an industry watchdog to monitor and regulate the gambling sector in line with the latest updates in the market.