Revolut blocks credit card use for gambling in Ireland

Posted on: January 27, 2022, 09:52h.

Last updated on: January 27, 2022, 10:08 AM.

Ireland has a ban on the use of credit cards for gambling purposes, but it is not foolproof. Some people have figured out how to get around it. But the online banking platform Revolut is going to cut some of them.

Fitz Casino, Ireland
Fitz Casino in Ireland. It, like other land-based and online gambling platforms, faces more restrictions as the country restricts gambling. (Image: TheLiberal.ie)

The UK and Ireland have both capped their betting markets. The UK is constantly introducing new controls and Ireland is on the cusp of some serious reforms for its operators. It already banned the use of credit cards for gambling purchases. But a loophole allowed some gamblers to get around the measure.

Some contactless payment apps, including Google Pay and Apple Pay, have circumvented the ban. Another on that list is Revolut, the purely digital banking platform. It now blocks all credit card payments destined for gambling websites in Ireland.

Revolut has around 1.5 million customers in Ireland, according to the company, so the impact will definitely be felt. The move shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, though, as it had already implemented the same policy in the UK. That came after the country banned credit card payments for all gambling purchases in 2020.

Revolut cards can be funded through credit cards, bank transfers, and debit cards. It explains that it has a system that can detect whether a payment for gambling comes through a credit or debit card. That system is already in place in the UK and the rollout for Irish gamblers will be seamless.

Third party payment options not illegal in Ireland

While Ireland would prefer to see a complete ban on the use of credit cards for gambling purposes, third-party solutions are clear. This means that payments to gambling sites via Google Pay, Apple Pay and others are not illegal.

The office of junior Attorney General James Browne has confirmed this position. Browne manages Ireland’s plans to develop a standalone gambling regulator. A spokesman for his office says that banning the use of credit cards via payment apps for gambling purposes “is beyond the minister’s competence”.

This does not mean that the government will not close the loophole in the future. As soon as the new games of chance supervisor is ready, it will be given additional powers in the area of ​​payments. This allows it, if it so chooses, to prohibit or allow third-party payment solutions with credit card purchases.

The new Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland is upon us. The time frame is still in the works, but the regulator should arrive in the coming months.

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