William Hill Bans Credit Card in Ireland

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2022-06-01

In Ireland, the use of credit cards in gambling is not precisely outlawed but has continuously been discouraged. However, multiple investigations have indicated how several online bookmakers continue to support credit card wagers via their apps. Some of those who are said to avoid credit card wagers are able to do so via apps such as Revolut and Apple Pay.

William Hill Bans Credit Card in Ireland

As a result, the concept of receiving payments from credit cards has come under fire. Some operators have been forced to be proactive and take decisive steps to restrict access to their sites using such payment methods. On its Irish website, William Hill has become the latest company to cease credit card deposits.

Protect the Brand and Clients

To safeguard their brand as well as their clients, the company recognizes the importance of ensuring the highest standards of security feasible. Thus, their entire system has evolved to meet the strictest security, integrity, and reliability requirements. All sensitive information is stored in an encrypted format with the user's secret password.

When conducting transactions that require access to data, the user must provide their password to ensure data security. The goal is to ensure that gambling causes no harm to anyone. That has been their justification for removing credit card deposits as a payment method.

Credit Card Gambling is Harmful

Experts view credit card sports betting as highly dangerous. It is strictly prohibited in countries such as the United Kingdom, which has harsher gambling laws than Ireland. The cards make it easy to get money, allowing gambling woes to persist. Gambling with credit cards, particularly in an online environment, can lead to high-volume betting, the accumulation of large debts, and a loss of control. It could eventually lead to involvement in illegal activities such as fraud.

Credit card use among gamblers has been linked to increased rates of bankruptcy as data available shows that consumers are betting with money they do not have. Hence, it has become important for the company to act decisively to protect them.

Additional data shows that people who have easy access to credit cards are more likely to use them in online sports betting. Those who used credit cards or another type of credit were more engaged and bet more frequently. Examining gambling issues backs up this theory since individuals who gamble with different kinds of credit are significantly more likely to be labeled as problem gamblers. These gamblers' demographic disparities reveal that they are younger and less likely to own their home entirely, implying that they may not have the same access to credit. Therefore, any strategy meant to reduce credit card usage among gamblers must also address alternative sources of credit.

Is There Any Other Rationale Behind This Move?

Following the appointment of a Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA), the government intends to enforce the ban on credit card betting. Given its extensive experience, the authority will have the discretion to respond and address any issues or concerns related to modes of payment and the dangers associated with them as soon as possible and on time. The Irish Bookmakers' Association has made it clear that the use of credit cards for gambling purposes is not encouraged.

The Irish Safer Gambling Code, which was adopted in August 2021 by the association in collaboration with the country's licensed gambling enterprises, includes this as one of its principles. After implementing the "Interim Gaming and Lotteries Act" in 2021, Irish legislators are preparing to reform the country's regulatory system for the first time since 1956.

Credit card payment limitations and a ban on free bets are among the predicted reforms, as is the development of a national gaming authority. The redesign has been frequently postponed, most recently in 2020, following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the laws, the regulator and authority will have the power to suspend or revoke any provider's license and to administer financial sanctions.

What Should Be Done Before the Government Imposes an Overall Ban?

Due to the lack of empirical evidence regarding the impacts of credit card bans, authorities should now collaborate with financial institutions and gambling operators to develop measures that are both realistic and feasible in the long term. All operators in the gambling industry must agree to the policies for them to be granted a license. Following that, those who are given a license will be under a general obligation to prevent players from using credit cards for sports betting online.

Credit card bans may have undesirable unexpected consequences, such as a shift toward anonymous means of gambling payment, undermining damage minimization efforts. Furthermore, there may be various difficulties in prohibiting the use of credit cards as the leading players and operators may attempt to circumvent the prohibition. Therefore, it is critical to perform a systematic examination to see if any of these unforeseen consequences arise if ban regulations are implemented.

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