William Hill one of the major bookmakers has rejected calls to join the Safer Gambling Code launched by the Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA), although many betting companies in Ireland have signed up to the code.
The IBA’s code bans advertising on live TV broadcasting on games of chance. A total ban on credit card gambling at betting and casino sites was also implemented. The IBA is considering setting up its own regulatory committee to supervise compliance within the industry.William Hill’s responded by stating they are not part of the IBA, moreover, the betting operator cannot join the safer gambling code as it includes retail shops only. A spokesperson for William Hill said if the rules change, they will consider becoming a member.
Rift Within the Industry
The rejection by William Hill to become a member of the code could cause a rift within the industry and undermines the IBA’s endeavour to regulate behaviours around gambling.IBA chairperson Sharon Byrne said, “I cannot force people through legislative measures but by recommending codes of practice we experience an enormous amount of involvement and adoption from our members.“I’m not a regulator so we can only encourage best practices from our members when it comes to customer protection, anti-money laundering, GDPR, and other matters.” By the end of the year, the IBA will appoint a CEO to drive the Safer Gambling Code, citing it is seen as vital to the industry to lead and support industry change in the future.Although the UK already banned the use of credit cards to fund gambling accounts in April 2020, and also the ban on gambling ads before and during live televised sporting events, the IBA believes these steps now implemented in Ireland are a step in the right direction in terms of the industry, leading by example.