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Fiona Simmons January 25, 2022 3 min read
Gambling Companies in Ireland Can Use Apple, Google Tools to Block Credit Cards
Apple and Google, often blamed for their alleged complacency in facilitating gambling companies, may have been siding with consumers all along. The companies provided Irish betting apps with a reliable method to filter credit card payments for the purposes of gambling, the Irish Independent wrote, but at least one firm has opted out of this option, citing no legal obligation to adopt the tools.
While credit card payments for gambling are suspended in most of the United Kingdom, they are not entirely so in Ireland – consumers may still use third parties to top up their accounts. The country has often been described as “the wild west” of gambling in the United Kingdom, but this may soon change as a new regulator is in the works.
Meanwhile, tech giants such as Apple, Google, and most recently Revolut have extended their support for tools that can protect consumers from falling victim to bad habits, such as excessive gambling. Not all companies have been able to benefit from that feature, though.
According to the media, BoyleSports said that the company struggled with using the Apple Pay and Google Pay with credit card option because it was not able to see the information transacted. In other words, BoyleSports had no way of knowing whether a credit card had been used to fund an account.
It Will Take Regulation, It Will Take Goodwill
The media argued that both Apple and Google Pay allow seeing what payment methods the wallets have been set up with. While credit card betting is against the “Safer Gambling Code,” the use of third parties to place credit cards is not.
This means that a gambler may still use an e-wallet to fund with a credit card, the funds of which are thereafter routed to a gambling website. According to the media, William Hill and BetVictor have been allowing consumers in Ireland to use credit card payments directly, using what was previously described as a “loophole.” The drawback to the Safer Gambling Code is that it’s an advisory guideline to responsible gambling, not a legally binding document.
Meanwhile, the Irish Bookmakers Association has acknowledged that it has no power to penalize operators over the use of credit cards, as the government has not yet passed these measures as law. Effectively, nobody is breaking the law. As mentioned, a new gambling regulator is in the works, but it would take another year or two to see the light of day. In the meantime, the status of credit card payments for gambling websites is up in the air, with loopholes inviting fresh opportunities for bookmakers.
Meanwhile, another popular electronic payment service, PayPal, introduced Gamban software to help customers in the United States and the United Kingdom exclude themselves from making transactions towards gambling sites.