William Hill has announced that from Wednesday onwards, customers of the gambling firm will no longer be able to use credit cards for online gambling in Ireland.
The move comes after the Irish Independent revealed that several betting companies continue to accept credit cards indirectly through Apple Pay and Revolut, in contradiction to the Irish Safer Gambling Code, despite the operators maintaining the opposite.
It is understood that earlier this month, Apple and Google have supplied their payment apps with protective mechanisms against gambling-related credit card acceptance.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, William Hill stated: “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.”
Credit card gambling is still a practice in Ireland with at least one other major operator, BetVictor, continuing to directly accept transactions via this method. The firm has a 180º policy, as it is active in the UK, where it is against the law to accept credit cards from players.
The Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA) has condemned the firms’ actions, but no further sanctions could be made as Ireland has not formally recognised credit card gambling as illegal.
However, a new regulator is expected to come into power in the upcoming years, overlooking the doings of betting firms. Accepting credit cards for betting is one of the practises set to be outlawed.
In the UK, gambling with credit cards was banned back in 2020 by the UK Gambling Commission. It was found that ‘22% of online gamblers using credit cards to gamble are classed as problem gamblers – with even more at some risk of harm’.
The lockdowns caused by COVID-19 have also contributed to a higher percentage of people trying out their luck with betting, further increasing the need for safeguard adoption against credit card use for gambling.