William Hill Bans Credit Cards as a payment method for players in Ireland. Leading casino brand wants to promote responsible gambling! (Image from Dylan Gillis at unsplash.com )
Players in Ireland wanting to use credit cards to fund their William Hill online accounts will no longer be permitted to do so. This is a follow-on from the news that broke a few weeks ago that there were still operators allowing credit card payments in Ireland, despite it going against Ireland’s Safer Gambling Code.
It also came to light that although some operators claim that they do not accept payments by credit card, punters are easily able to get around this by depositing money onto their Revolut or Apple Pay account by credit card and then using these payment methods to deposit onto their online casino/sportsbook/live casino accounts. So, while technically the money is not directly coming from a credit card, the truth of the matter is that it is credit card money.
The Goal is Safer Gambling for Everybody – A Joint Effort to Kick Problem Gambling
A spokesperson for William Hill made a statement regarding the clamp down on online credit card payments, mentioning that it is the ambition of the company to prevent any player from becoming the subject of harmful gambling and that the company will imminently be removing the option to deposit funds into an account via credit card transactions. The brands’ online services provide William Hill live casino, online casino, sports betting, online poker, and bingo, which features games from leading industry providers such as Playtech, Evolution, Pragmatic Play Live, Lucky Streak, and BetGames.
The company has taken these steps voluntarily, backing up its claim that it will take any necessary action in a bid to battle harmful gambling, as well as limiting the potential for it. William Hill has advised its customers based in Ireland that the new rule will come into effect as of 16/02/2022.
At the beginning of February, other companies implemented measures to reduce harmful gambling. Both Google and Apple had given betting apps in Ireland the option to stop using credit cards to gamble with through Google Pay and Apple Pay. Disappointingly, however, there were reports that not all companies took up the option, with one being a major player in the industry.
Still Work to be Done – Not All Companies are as Enthusiastic as Most
There is still some way to go to get everybody pulling in the same direction. Also, there are several companies that are saying the right things but are not so quick to take action. For instance, the money transfer and exchange app, Revolut, still has the option for users to connect credit cards to its service, despite saying that it will soon introduce a technology that will allow a company to separate debit cards, and credit cards for deposits made intending to gamble. Advocates for safer gambling are wondering, how soon is soon? BetVictor is a household name in the gambling world, yet its users in Ireland are still permitted to debit their accounts with credit card transactions. However, BetVictor would be breaking the law if it allowed this action in the UK, so it is not an option there.
The Irish Bookmakers Association commented on the use of credit cards, saying that although it doesn’t condone the use of credit cards as a way to fund gambling, there can be no formal action to take against these companies, as it is not illegal in Ireland.
It is expected that the Government of Ireland will announce the introduction of a gambling regulator sometime this year, or early next year. It is said that the regulator will hold a good amount of power that will probably be able to see them issue fines to betting companies, with credit card transactions being one of the priority targets.
UK Ban on Credit Cards: The UK banned the use of credit cards for gambling in April 2020, as it was discovered that amongst problem gamblers, 22% of them were using a credit card to gamble with. There has been an interim evaluation of the ban, and it has emerged that since the ban came into effect, 76% of people who had previously used a credit card to gamble with, no longer sought financial help as a way to fund gambling. With the rate of borrowing minimised, problem gambling is on the decline. Will it have the same effect in Ireland if introduced?