Ireland’s Online Bets on the Rise, Problem Gambling Pushes Operators for Limits

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While online bets are on the rise in Ireland, Problem Gambling Ireland, a charity, is proposing certain limitations to gambling operators.

Irish Operators Should Apply Limitations, Problem Gambling Urges

Irish operators were contacted by Problem Gambling Ireland with a request for implementing limitations. The charity has stressed the need to limit the deposits as well as the online gambling spending limits due to the coronavirus situation. Considering the current lockdown in Ireland, many users are turning to online gambling and this can become a serious issue, Problem Gambling cautions.

The National Lottery in Ireland has already implemented a deposit limit for its online program, but according to Problem Gambling, further restrictions need to be implemented. Chief executive and founder of Problem Gambling Ireland, Barry Grant commented on the subject:

Live sport is extremely limited at the moment, so vulnerable people are turning to virtual sports, online slots and casino gambling”.

European Countries Already Applied Limitations, is Ireland Next?

Chief executives of BoyleSports, Paddy Power/Betfair, Ladbrokes, and many other operators were already contacted by Problem Gambling Ireland. The charity worries about the growing interest in online gambling given that betting venues are closed due to the lockdown.

Earlier in April, five major operators in the UK were contacted by sports minister Nigel Huddleston. In his letter, Huddleston addressed the problem gambling issue and asked for the operators to take extra steps in order to help this part of society.

The UK won’t be the first country to apply online gambling restrictions. Earlier this month, online gambling was banned in Latvia, while Spain restricted advertising on March 31. Sweden also was looking at applying similar changes when Swedish Social Security Minister Ardalan Shekarabi offered a set of restrictive measures which included implementing a deposit limit and even session time limits.

Online Betting Far More Dangerous, Grant Says

Further to Grant’s statement, he noted that while the betting venues close at some point for the night, with online gambling, players can participate every day of the week at any time.

In addition, Grant said that suppliers currently offer a variety of virtual sports events, and some of them even start every two minutes of each day. According to Grant, all those factors combined with the lockdown that is implemented is making online gambling more dangerous than it really is. In his own words:

The danger is the frequency of them. In reality betting on an actual event there are windows of time between races and events. There is a time to reflect, and maybe think that stopping would be an option“.

Back in January, the Gambling Commission announced that all UK based operators are to take place in the Gamstop self-exclusion scheme. This had to be implemented by March 31 and recent results show that due to the lockdown, an increase in people who abandon self-exclusion is expected.

Problem Gambling Ireland also noted that recently they have experienced a reduction in the calls that the charity receives.

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