Ireland’s ban on betting with credit cards – will it be effective?
Danny Scutchings has doubts about the effect of banning the use of credit cards in Ireland to place bets
News came through over the weekend that credit card betting has been banned by bookmakers across Ireland, both online and in shops.
Bookmakers also agreed to a TV advertising ban during live sports coverage shown before 9pm, which will run from five minutes before the event until five minutes after, but will not include horseracing or greyhound racing.
These latest measures are part of an updated Code of Practice for safer gambling introduced by the Irish Bookmakers Association
But, will it work?
I’m not for one moment suggesting that gambling isn’t a serious problem for some people, which is why I don’t do it.
I watch racing for the enjoyment and the excitement but surely if people want to gamble they will find a way regardless of a credit card ban – it might stop online betting but not in shops.
And banning TV ads definitely won’t have an impact because people know when live racing is on and will gamble accordingly – they don’t need reminding which bookmakers to use.
Much more needs to be done however. This is a good start and hopefully it will have the impact the bookmakers and the government are looking for while they consider what else to do.
Personally I think it might drive people who want to bet to go back to racecourses. This will mean the attendance limit will have to be increased from the current 500; something the government are not yet willing to do for every meeting.
Maybe this was the wrong time to introduce such changes.