As Ireland takes a closer and sterner look at its gambling industry, Revolut, a popular fintech solution, and banking app, has joined mainstream bankers in blocking card payments to gambling sites in Ireland.
Topping Up Gambling Accounts with Credit Cards No-Go in Ireland
Revolut decided to get ahead of events after an investigation by the Irish Independent revealed that gambling companies are accepting and “profiting” from contactless app payments carried out through Google Pay, Apple Pay, and not least, Revolut.
The issue arises from the fact that payment solutions such as the above can be charged with credit cards, and payments can then be made to gambling sites, circumnavigating a prohibition to do so. While in the United Kingdom the issue was addressed quickly, it seems such payments may have happened through third parties in Ireland, and they seem to be legal.
Commenting for the newspaper, a Revolut spokesperson said that the company is “planning to block the use of credit card funds on gambling sites in Ireland.” The company already has the technology to trace where funds are directed and how accounts are funded which helps it overcome what for many was the main technological hurdle.
Gambling companies have responded that this is simply a “loophole” that is not available in the UK, but it still exists in Ireland. However, the investigation into this has prompted companies to act before legislation catches up. The Irish Bookmakers Association has told the newspaper that the companies had not breached any rules but used the law to allow consumers to continue charging their accounts in the most convenient way.
The Government Confirms No Wrongdoing
Speaking to a representative of the Junior Justice Minister James Browne, the media found out that whether or not credit card betting with the help of third-party apps is permissible is not up for the minister’s office to determine. This is even though the office oversees the introduction of a new gambling regulator in the country.
According to the spokesperson, whether such practices should be allowed is entirely up to the Irish Bookmakers Association to determine. Commenting, the person said that the new regulator would also have the discretion to make such calls.
Paddy Power, a leading betting company in the country, said that it had no official data as to what payments had come from credit card-fueled app betting, and said it did not know how much money it might lose as a result of a more restrictive measure. Meanwhile, Problem Gambling Ireland CEO Barry Grant reminded that the 40,000 people in the country who are said to be gambling addicts is actually an understatement.