Paddy Power has mutually ended its sponsorship of televised football matches with Irish terrestrial TV broadcaster RTÉ.
The decision comes ahead of a new voluntary code of conduct that will be observed from 1 January by members of the Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA).
The code’s headline measure will impose a ‘whistle-to-whistle ban on sports betting advertising during sports broadcasts, mirroring UK gambling’s self-imposed restrictions.
Paddy Power will no longer serve as a partner of RTE coverage of 2021/2022 international men’s football matches – that saw the Republic of Ireland fail to qualify for the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Last September, Irish bookmakers adopted the new code-of-conduct, which immediately imposed a ban on credit card wagering across retail and digital businesses.
The voluntary code was adopted, as the IBA cited industry frustrations that the Irish government had failed to progress on updating the republic’s gambling laws – as a Dáil mandate that was pledged for 2021.
Ending its RTÉ coverage, Paddy Power stated that it had previously taken 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 RTÉ in the interim.
“Paddy Power doesn’t just support the incoming whistle-to-whistle ban as a company, we have already taken a market-leading position on this intervention.” – read Paddy Power’s statement.