Irish Bookmakers Association Agree to Amendments to Code of Practice for Safe Gambling

The Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA) has agreed upon two new amendments to its code of practice for safer gambling. First a ban on credit card usage in retail shops and online and a pre-watershed ban on advertising live sport.

Major Operators on Board

The latest set of amendments to the code shows commitment by industry leaders with new measures to ensure player safety. IBA members including Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Bet365, Betway, Boylesports, and Unibet are among many operators who aim to implement the new measures.Although in the UK credit cards were banned in April 2020, in Ireland customers both online and in retail outlets were able to use credit cards to fund their gambling. Although the code is not going to stop problem gambling it’s a step in the right direction explains IBA chairperson Sharon Byrne.The ban on credit cards and the restrictions on live sports advertising are a step in the right direction. Ms. Byrne went on to suggest more needs to be done to tackle problem gambling “within the forum provided by a regulator”, however, she believes the latest conditions to the code are the right decision.Many members of IBM are fully onboard with the code, each of the operational bookmakers and online operators in Ireland will implement the new measures by the end of 2021. Live sport will be banned on TV before 9 pm, this does not include Horseracing and Grey Hound Racing.

Significant Changes to Gambling Law in Ireland

Ms. Byrne believes the introduction of changes is an important factor for safer gambling and the single biggest initiative Ireland has seen since the introduction of Safer Gambling Week. Although all major gambling operators are on board with the new amendments to the code Ms. Byrne hopes the few who have yet to endorse the code will soon follow suit.This is the first time in 35 years the Gambling Laws of Ireland have seen significant change. Although tougher legislation is needed, it also introduced new regulations allowing bookmakers to open for business on Sundays and Good Friday, however, children playing on gaming machines will now become an offense.

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