Credit cards aren’t exactly banned under Irish law when it comes to gambling. Yet, growing criticism of the practice of accepting payments from such financial instruments has forced some operators to be proactive and act decisively in restricting access to their sites with such payment methods. William Hill has become the latest company to deny players depositing with credit cards on its Irish website.
William Hill Takes the High Road
The measures have been active in the United Kingdom for a while now, but Ireland has made no formal attempt to outlaw the practice. William Hill is seeking to distance itself from reports that some gambling companies in Ireland continue to accept credit cards payments using a “legal loop” as some have described the practice themselves.
This goes against the grain of the non-obligatory agreement known as the Irish Safer Gambling Code under which companies are supposed to actively seek and clamp down on such practices until formal legislation is passed. Even though some have formally stopped doing so, they have used third parties such as Revolut and PayPal to continue accepting such payments.
Both payment providers have acted and prohibited credit card payments. In the meantime, some companies have said that there was no way for them to know if a consumer had used a credit card to charge their Revolut or PayPal accounts which were then used to deposit in a casino. Both companies issued a rebuttal arguing that they offer this information readily.
More Companies Make It Easy to Block Credit Cards
The Irish Bookmakers Association, which has introduced the anti-credit card rules in good faith, has admitted that it has no legal recourse to prohibit or penalize this behavior. The IBA says a new gambling authority in the country would be able to.
This regulator though would take some time before it’s introduced. At the earliest, the new watchdog is expected to arrive in late 2020, but it’s more likely that it won’t be available until 2023. The law that would establish the new gambling commission in Ireland would also seek to outlaw certain practices, one of them being credit card gambling.
Meanwhile, more companies have been beefing up their support for responsible gambling practices. Google and Apple introduced a solution that allows Irish bookmakers and their betting apps to detect when an account is being funded by a credit card.
Other modifications are expected to be introduced as part of a sweeping change to the gambling laws in the country. For example, Ireland is most likely going to ban the practice of allocating free bets to players. The regulator will also be empowered to suspend gambling licenses if operators are not complying with the legal framework.