Ireland has a ban on the use of credit cards for gambling purposes, but it isn’t foolproof. Some people have figured out how to bypass it. But the online banking platform Revolut is going to cut some of them off.
The UK and Ireland have both been clamping down on their gambling markets. The UK is constantly introducing new controls, and Ireland is about to deliver some serious reforms to its operators. It already banned the use of credit cards for gambling purchases. But a loophole allowed some bettors to bypass the measure.
Some contactless payment apps, including Google Pay and Apple Pay, have been able to circumvent the ban. Another on that list is Revolut, the purely digital banking platform. It will now block all credit card payments destined to gambling websites in Ireland.
Revolut has around 1.5 million customers in Ireland, according to the company, so the impact will definitely be felt. However, the move doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, as it had already implemented the same policy in the UK. That came after the country banned credit card payments for all gambling purchases in 2020.
Revolut cards can be funded via credit cards, bank transfers, and debit cards. It explains that it has a system in place that can detect if a payment for gambling comes either through a credit or debit card. That system is already in use in the UK and rolling it out for Irish gamblers will be seamless.
Third-Party Payment Options Not Illegal in Ireland
While Ireland would prefer to see a complete ban on the use of credit cards for gambling purposes, third-party solutions are in the clear. This means payments made to gambling sites through Google Pay, Apple Pay and others are not illegal.
The office of Junior Justice Minister James Browne has confirmed this position. Browne is managing Ireland’s plans to develop a standalone gambling regulator. A spokesperson for his office asserts that banning the use of credit cards through payment apps for gambling purposes is “outside the remit of the minister.”
This doesn’t mean that the government won’t close the loophole in the future. As soon as the new gambling regulator is ready, it will be given additional authority over payments. This will, if it chooses, allow it to ban or allow third-party payment solutions involving credit card purchases.
The new Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland is close to arrival. The time frame is still in the works, but the regulator should arrive in the next few months.
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