WILLIAM Hill is to ban the use of credit cards for online betting in Ireland from Wednesday.
The giant gambling firm’s move comes just weeks after the Irish Independent revealed that several major betting companies still accept credit card payments directly in Ireland in contravention of the Irish Safer Gambling Code.
the Irish Independent also revealed that several firms that claim not to accept credit card bets do so indirectly through apps such as Apple Pay and Revolut.
“It’s our ambition that nobody is harmed by gambling and we’re getting in touch to let you know that we will be voluntarily removing credit card deposits as a payment option,” the company said.
It will no longer accept Irish deposits from credit cards from Wednesday of this week and ise writing to its customers here on the issue.
Earlier this month, the Irish Independent disclosed that Apple and Google had provided Irish betting apps with a method to stop credit card gambling here through methods such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, despite at least one major local betting company ignoring the measure.
Revolut, which can be connected to credit cards, told the Irish Independent that it would soon introduce technology to allow companies separate credit and debit card gambling deposits.
However, another big offshore betting company, BetVictor, still allows direct credit card deposits for Irish customers. BetVictor does not allow their customers to bet using credit cards in the UK, where it is against the law.
The head of the Irish Bookmakers Association, which sets the anti-credit card rules here, has said it has no power to sanction credit card gambling because the Irish government has not formally outlawed it.
The Irish government is expected to introduce a new gambling regulator that would have significant powers to fine betting firms. Credit card betting is expected to be one of the measures outlawed. However, the regulator is not expected to be appointed until the end of 2022 or 2023.
Gambling awareness campaigners have described Ireland as the “wild west” for regulation of the online space.
Many of the biggest companies, including William Hill and BetVictor, are regulated from Gibraltar or Malta.
Last month, Gibraltar-based Livescore Bet apologised for not closing an Irish-based account when asked to do so.