Ireland’s two largest bookmakers, Paddy Power and Boylesports have confirmed that they will no longer accept wagers on Irish under-18s sporting fixtures or competitions, in a move to address national concerns relating to gambling’s impact on sports development.
Both operators will no longer display betting markets for under-18s competitions, a move that has been welcomed by Irish sporting stakeholders such as the Gaelic Players Association which had raised concerns regarding the number of registered players gambling on sanctioned matches.
Issuing a statement, Paddy Power governance detailed that it had taken its decision on the matter independently
“Despite offering these markets for years it’s never come up as a contentious issue before. Some people wanted to bet on U18s sports so we responded to that demand,
“Those customers may be disappointed that they will no longer be able to bet on these sports, especially when they’re on TV or high-profile matches, but we understand that there is a general concern around the issue so we have responded.”
In August 2015 The GAA had pleaded for further amendments to Ireland’s 2013 Gambling Control Bill, with a view to ban wagering on underage/minor games (under 18)
The governing body of Gaelic Games (hurling and Gaelic football) has requested for the banning of wagers at inter-county level, citing the future integrity of the sports and youth development matters.