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Apple and Google offered betting app firms a way to stop credit card gambling


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Apple and Google provided Irish betting apps with a method to stop credit card gambling in Ireland but at least one major betting company declined to use it, allowing credit card bets against Ireland’s industry code.

It comes as leading figures on gambling addiction have called for stronger measures on gambling enforcement in Ireland, which has been described as “the wild west”.

Last week, the Irish Independent exposed the use of credit card betting through apps such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Revolut on Irish gambling apps.

One of the firms involved, BoyleSports, told the Irish Independent that its policy of not allowing credit card bets couldn’t be enforced through Apple Pay and Google Pay as the credit card source is “information… [that is] not visible to BoyleSports or any other payee”.

However, the Irish Independent has confirmed that both Apple and Google include the option of recognising credit card payments during the process of setting up Apple Pay and Google Pay methods.

Asked why BoyleSports had not chosen to use this feature, the firm’s spokesperson said that the firm had no additional comment to make.

Credit card betting is against Ireland’s “Safer Gambling Code”, of which BoyleSports is a member.

The Irish Independent has also established that two other mainstream betting apps, William Hill and BetVictor, allow Irish users to bet directly using a credit card account without any intermediary app such as Apple Pay or Revolut.

Neither of these gambling firms allow their customers to bet using credit cards in the UK, where it is against the law. However, neither William Hill nor BetVictor adhere to the IBA’s “Safer Gambling Code” in Ireland.

The head of the Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA), which sets the anti-credit card rules here, has said it has no power to sanction credit card gambling because the Irish government has not formally outlawed it.

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A spokesperson for the junior minister with responsibility for gambling, James Browne, who was shown evidence of the William Hill credit card bets, declined to comment.

The Government has moved to set up a new gambling regulator here that would have stronger powers to fine betting firms who break rules. However, it is not expected to be appointed until the end of 2022 or 2023.

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