The Gaelic Players Association (GPA) has reached out to representatives of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), calling for a ban on gambling adverts during live broadcasts of gaelic football and hurling.
The players’ body has called for a ban to be written into GAA rules, with a motion currently prepared for GAA Congress this weekend. If successful, the proposal will then be discussed by the GAA Central Council.
It comes in response to the Economic and Social Research Institute Report published at the end of 2019, in which 80% of respondents believed teammates engage in gambling on either a daily or a weekly basis.
Paul Flynn, GPA CEO, commented: “It was clear from the ESRI Report that gambling is an issue that concerns inter-county players. The ESRI Reports, the GPA Student Report and other membership surveys allow us to listen to the voice of players and act accordingly.
“This information informs us of their views on issues of great importance to them and their playing experiences. This guides our policy developments and strategy initiatives.
“Both the GAA and the GPA have long been leaders in this area and we’ll now work with Central Council to take another big step towards removing the link between gambling and our games.”
In a statement on its website, the GPA confirmed that its representative Seamus Hickey would be campaigning for the development of a formal policy which would prohibit gambling advertising during live broadcasts of the two sports.
If the proposal is approved, the policy would then be ‘implemented as a rule change at GAA Congress 2021”.
The statement continued: “Gambling promotion during GAA games presents a heightened risk to the welfare of all members of the GAA but particularly children and those most vulnerable to the perils of this destructive addiction.
“The proliferation of online betting and the availability of betting advertising around Gaelic Games has helped develop a worrying cultural issue with gambling in the GAA.
“We believe that the GAA, through its relationships with its broadcast partners, has the ability to prevent the broadcast of gambling ads during matches. Removing this intrinsic link between inter-county games and betting advertising reduces the risk of vulnerable members of the association developing issues with problem gambling.
“The GPA provides 24/7 counselling support to all members and see first-hand the impact of gambling addiction on players who have accessed support. In light of the impact gambling addiction has had on many of our members, the GPA wishes to remove any direct link to gambling advertising and our members.”