THE GPA (Gaelic Players Association), the officially recognised player representative body for inter-county Gaelic footballers and hurlers in Ireland, wants the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association), Ireland’s largest sporting organisation, to take the step of banning advertising by gambling companies during the broadcast of live games of hurling and Gaelic football.
The players’ body had initially sought to propose a motion for Congress this weekend on the subject – however, after taking advice from the GAA, it has been decided that it will now be discussed at the Central Council.
If this gets written into the rule book, the GAA will become the first sporting organisation in the world to make such a move. GPA representative Seamus Hickey will be pushing for support from the GAA’s Central Council for an official policy to prohibit gambling-related advertising during games with the goal that it would be implemented as a rule change at the 2021 GAA Congress.
In addition, ahead of the Congress, the GPA will be voting against the induction of the black card/sin bin in hurling. In a confidential survey of 2019 championship panels held during the month of February, 89% of the respondents voted against the rule change. In total 1,116 inter-county hurlers drawn from 35 squads took part in the research.
The GPA also explained the thinking behind their proposal surrounding gambling advertising in a statement released on Monday evening.
“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,” it said.
The association added, “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.”
The statement read, “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 wish to remove any direct link to gambling advertising and our members”, the release added.
Source – Igaming world