In Ireland and online gaming behemoth Flutter Entertainment has reportedly announced that its PaddyPower.com sportsbetting domain has cancelled the sponsorship deal it held with national television and radio broadcaster Raidio Teilifis Eireann (RTE).
According to a Monday report from the Irish Independent newspaper, the Malta and United Kingdom-licensed site paid a six-figure fee earlier in the year so as to be able to promote its services during every live international football game being shown by the state-run broadcaster. This eight-game arrangement purportedly included a provision that saw the logo for PaddyPower.com appear alongside the on-screen clock and live score graphic during 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying contests featuring Stephen Kenny’s national side.
However, London-listed Flutter Entertainment has now reportedly ‘concluded’ this arrangement ahead of the implementation from January 1 of new guidelines from the Irish Bookmakers Association that will institute a ‘whistle-to-whistle’ ban on the advertising of all iGaming services during live sporting match broadcasts. The newspaper explained that this prohibition also encompasses five-minute blocks before and after games in addition to breaks in play, half-time commercials and other forms of marketing such as pitch-side LED signage.
Nevertheless, Flutter Entertainment reportedly asserted that it is not upset by the Irish Bookmakers Association’s new rules and as a company is throwing its weight behind the incoming ‘whistle-to-whistle’ ban on iGaming advertising. Previously known as Paddy Power Betfair until undergoing a name-change in early-2020, the Dublin-headquartered operator purportedly moreover declared that it has ‘already taken a market-leading position on this intervention’ and was examining whether its Take a Break: Safer Gambling publicity campaign violates the fresh marketing rules.
Reportedly read a statement from Flutter Entertainment…
“We took the decision to voluntarily implement a pre-watershed ‘whistle-to-whistle’ ban on advertising ahead of Euro 2020, which applied to any adverts run on RTE in the interim. We also moved to use all existing slots available to us pre and post-match to exclusively promote our Take a Break: Safer Gambling tool during Ireland’s final four matches in the men’s 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.”
For its part and RTE, which regularly broadcasts national soccer contests as well as a range of Gaelic football, boxing, rugby, horseracing, hurling and golf action, reportedly declined to publicly comment on the move from Flutter Entertainment and its PaddyPower.com domain citing concerns over commercial sensitivity.
The Irish Independent reported that William Hill is the only prominent bookmaker in Ireland not to have yet agreed to abide by the Irish Bookmakers Association’s new rules on advertising. This obstinance purportedly prompted the nation’s Minister of State at the Department of Justice, James Browne, to call on the outlaw bookmaker to rethink its complacency and agree to adopt the upcoming ‘whistle-to-whistle’ policy on marketing.