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Ireland Looks To Crackdown On Advertising Of Retail Betting Shop

Ireland has taken its time over the years to make changes to its gambling regulations but has finally moved forward with the rollout of its Interim Gaming and Lotteries Act in December 2020. The interim act made significant changes to the archaic Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956.

Ireland wanted to standardize its gambling industry and put in place a gambling regulator who would oversee the industry. Some of the other changes include only allowing individuals over 18 to gamble and bet, streamlining the licensing process for gaming and lottery licenses and rolling out a ban on credit card gambling.

Retail Betting Operators

Ireland is now cracking the whip on retail betting operators in the country with regards to their advertising protocols. The country is looking to reduce the problem gambling epidemic in the country and wants to put in place stringent measures with regards to advertising to protect Irish bettors.

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While a lot of attention has been given to online and social media advertising, the Department of Justice is now looking at the advertising practices of retail bookmakers. James Browne, Minister of State at the Department of Justice said that there was a lot of complexity surrounding the dos and don’t’s of what retail bookmakers.

Browne said that retail bookmakers tend to have a sign over their entrance to let onlookers know what was on offer. While all retail shops across different businesses follow the same practice by having visible signage outside their premises, it was different for betting shops as it would still constitute a form of advertising.

Paddy Power is a great example of this as they have built their brand over their distinct visible signage that is boldly displayed in each of their retail betting shops. When Lansdowne Market Research conducted a brand awareness survey, 42 percent of those surveyed said they recognized the Paddy Power brand due to its distinct signage at its retail betting shops.

IBA Yet To Release Statement

The Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA) which represents a long list of betting operators said they were yet not fully aware of the issue with retail betting advertising. The IBA said that they would recent out to the Department of Justice before commenting on the proposed rules.

Browne is urging William Hill to sign up and follow IBA’s Safer Gambling code but it appears that William Hill is not very keen to do so as of now. Browne has called for all licensed operators to follow IBA’s Safer Gambling code in order to protect Irish players.