Ireland ban credit cards for betting, NFL gains four new betting partners

Betting news presented by 4H and Legalbet


Bookmakers in Ireland have agreed to a ban on the use of credit cards online and in shops, and have also refused to advertise during live sports matches.

The two initiatives are part of an updated safe gambling code introduced by the Irish Bookmakers’ Association’s (IBA). All IBA members, including Boylesports, Flutter Entertainment and Entain, have accepted the ban. Next in line are other major bookmakers who intend to accept the new conditions: Bet365, Betway and The Kindred Group.

IBA chair Sharon Byrne said the body recognised the need for the industry to develop the highest standards for safer gambling and that the credit card ban and whistle-to-whistle restrictions are “important steps on that path”.

“We hope that those few operators who have not endorsed the code will do so before long”, Ms Byrne said.

Ivan Kurochkin’s comments

The Code will be fully operational by the end of 2021.The restrictions include the following: a ban on credit card transactions, whistle-to-whistle advertising ban, and a restriction on TV advertising before 9pm for live sporting events. They may seem harsh at the first sight, however in reality, the practice is already common across developed countries. Moreover, the Irish Code of Practice appears to be very similar to the United Kingdom’s policy.

New changes to the Code were well received by the members of the IBA, which are the biggest players in the market – Bet365, Flutter, Entain, and others. We believe that it is important to increase standards for the operators and find these first steps made by the IBA positive. 

Moreover, these changes towards safer gambling in Ireland and updated regulations are just gaining traction. The next expected step would be the long-awaited establishment of an independent gambling regulator to ensure more centralized control over operators.


Disney’s ESPN is reported to be wanting to enter into a $3 billion long-term licensing agreement with US betting operators.

ESPN has been talking with major US sportsbook operators, including DraftKings and the casino operator Caesars Entertainment. Both of those already have partnership agreements with ESPN. Marketing agreements include integrating odds and betting-related content into selected shows on the channel. In addition, ESPN has already created podcasts and TV programs dedicated to betting, where its betting partners are integrated.

Under the terms of the potential deal, the bookmaker will have the right to use the name of the TV channel as a trademark. They will also be able to place their advertisements on the TV channel's sites.

Ivan Kurochkin’s comments

This is a significant move from a corporation that has been always associated itself with conservative family values and it will be intriguing to watch its expansion in the controversial field of betting.

However, even though the betting industry is thriving with more than 30 US states offering sports betting activities, there are some constraints with ESPN entering the market. We look at a couple of them below.

First of all, the multi-billion dollar deal seems to be irrational considering the fact that the whole US sports betting market is going to be valued at approximately $4 billion in 2021. According to the analysts, the book must generate more than $42 billion to break even, which is clearly impossible even for such a big player.

Secondly, there is another concern connected to the Disney brand positioning. With Disney's access to a huge audience, both adults and most importantly minors, its relationship with the gambling industry may be taken negatively. Moreover, as we have mentioned before, its strong connection to traditional values, family and kids friendly content, could be seen as rather controversial and lead to problems with both Disney and ESPN positions in the entertainment and sports betting markets, respectively.


President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev made changes to the decree “On measures to raise the development of football to a completely new level”.

These changes imply the transfer of the functions and powers of the liquidated Capital market development agency to the Ministry of finance. Now the Ministry will deal with the legalization of betting in the country.

The department will carry out the following functions:

  • Working with other ministries to develop laws governing sports betting;

  • Drafting amendments to the laws relating to sports betting;

  • Issuance of licenses to conduct bookmaking activities in Uzbekistan.

The law “On measures to raise the development of football to a completely new level” was signed in December 2019. Then the Agency for the Development of the Capital Market was appointed the responsible body for the legalization of betting in the country. However, it was abolished in April 2021.

Ivan Kurochkin’s comments

Even though the amendments to the decrees have not been approved yet, the fact that the supporting regulation regarding the functions of the financial bodies (including the Ministry of Finance) is being developed as well, evokes certain confidence that the Uzbek authorities are serious about the legalization.


The NFL announced it has reached agreements with FOX Bet, BetMGM, PointsBet, and WynnBET to become Approved Sportsbook Operators for the 2021 season. 

New partners will not be able to use the league and team logos, unlike the three general sponsors — Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel, with which agreements were signed earlier.

New betting partners have received the right to advertise during the broadcast of the league matches, but you will have to pay separately for its placement. No sportsbooks outside of these seven operators will be permitted to purchase this select NFL advertising and media inventory.

The NFL has set an equal limit of six ad units per match for each bookmaker.


Further reading:

Ukrainian KRAIL bribery issues and how gambling is connected to poverty in the UK