National television and radio broadcaster of Ireland – RTÉ – has appeared as the first group to be affected by the new advertising rules that are being rolled out in line with the changes in the country’s gambling regulations, as the local gambling giant Paddy Power has ended its sponsorship of live televised football events aired by the broadcaster.
During the weekend, the betting firm, which is currently owned by Flutter Entertainment, officially confirmed that it had ceased its partnership with RTÉ. The announcement comes before the Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA) unveils new guidelines regarding whistle-to-whistle gambling advertising. The new rules that fall in line with stricter regulations on the country’s gambling sector are set to come into effect on January 1st, 2022.
The whistle-to-whistle gambling advertising rules cover the time of a sports event that is broadcast live, from five minutes before its start to five minutes after its ending. They also cover any breaks of play and half-time advertising pauses, as well as various forms of marketing, including field-side LEDs.
The agreement between Paddy Power and the Irish national TV and radio broadcaster was only for the sports fixtures in 2021. However, the gambling operator now revealed that it would not seek to extend its agreement with RTÉ beyond 2022.
Paddy Power Unveils Safer Gambling Campaign to Stay in Line with New Advertising Rules
Paddy Power has been recently looking at the advertising for its current safer gambling campaign called “Take A Break – Safer Gambling”, it remains unclear whether this marketing is in breach of the Irish Bookmakers Association’s code that was officially implemented on January 1st.
The Association has been unable to make sure whether the whistle-to-whistle advertising rules apply for the promotion of safer gambling, so it spent the weekend reviewing the text of its regulations.
The aforementioned sponsorship deal with the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power cost RTÉ a six-figure sum. The agreement included the right to display the gambling operator’s logo on the screen during live broadcast sports games as well as the live-score graphic and the clock. The national TV and radio broadcasting group has recently removed the logo from the screen, but there are still ads featuring Paddy Power that are still open and closed when it comes to live coverage of football games.
Although horse racing and greyhound racing events are practically excluded from the whistle-to-whistle gambling advertising ban due to the competitions’ nature, the suspension affects the much-lucrative football market, which some campaigners have been describing as a major driver of problem gambling in the country.
Paddy Power commented on the change in sponsorship, saying that the gambling operator not only supports the soon-to-be-implemented whistle-to-whistle gambling advertising ban but has also already taken a market-leading position on the matter.
As Casino Guardian has already reported, all leading independent bookmakers and gambling brands in Ireland have signed for the Code for Safer Gambling, except for William Hill that is currently not a member of the Irish Bookmakers Association. The company has still not adopted the new rules although it has been called upon to do so many times already.