Sinn Féin has introduced new legislation that will prohibit the use of credit cards for online and in-store betting throughout Ireland.
The bill, the Betting (Prohibition on Use of Credit Cards) Bill 2021, was introduced by Thomas Gould, Sinn Féin’s addiction, recovery, and wellbeing spokesperson. It intends to promote more responsible gaming.
“I am really proud to launch this legislation that would see credit cards banned in online and in-shop betting,” Gould said.
“Protecting vulnerable people has to be at the fore of gambling regulation. While the government still haven’t published a Gambling Control Bill, Sinn Féin are committed to bringing forward credible protections that will help to protect vulnerable people.”
No licence will be issued “unless the applicant for the licence has given them an undertaking not to accept bets or otherwise deal in bets that involve the use of a credit card, either directly or indirectly,” according to the bill.
The bill, which is set to take effect in three months, would also prohibit the use of ewallets unless assurances are given that the provider’s system prevents, or that other controls are in place to prevent, the use of a credit card, either directly or indirectly.
“A ban on credit cards is a no-brainer. It has been recognised by the industry themselves that this needs to happen with the National Lottery taking steps to introduce a ban and bookmakers bringing forward a ban during live sports,” Gould added.
“We need to make sure that those in the throes of addiction aren’t gambling with money they don’t have and can’t afford.
“For too long now, the attitude from various governments to gambling regulation has been a shrug of the shoulders.
“I am calling on all parties, and independents, to support this legislation and ensure that we see true protection for the most vulnerable in our society.”
Following the publication of the Irish Bookmakers’ Association’s code of practise for safer gaming last month, Ireland’s betting industry pledged to implement a “comprehensive set of industry commitments.”
An industry-wide bar on the use of credit cards, both online and in stores, as well as a pre-watershed whistle-to-whistle advertising ban for live sport are among the reforms to be enforced.
Flutter Entertainment then revealed a new policy that will see all consumers under the age of 25 receive a £500 monthly spending limit.
As the operator wants to “further enhance protections for younger customers and encourage sensible spending across its platforms,” this will be introduced for all customers across the Paddy Power, Betfair, and Sky Betting & Gaming brands in the UK and Ireland.