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GPA call on GAA to take leading position on gambling advertising

Inter-County Hurlers overwhelmingly against Black Card

Gambling Advertising

The Gaelic Players Association (GPA) has made formal contact with the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) in a bid to see the banning of advertising by betting companies during the broadcast of live GAA games be written into GAA rule.  In doing so the GAA would become the first sporting organisation in the world to take such a step.

The GPA had proposed a motion for GAA Congress this weekend on the matter in direct response to the ESRI Report published in December 2019, however on advice from the GAA it will now instead be discussed at Central Council.  The ESRI report highlighted that gambling was a risky behaviour that inter-county players, believe their fellow players are likely to engage in.  80% of respondents believed teammates engage in gambling on either a daily or a weekly basis.

The matter is to be discussed as a policy change, by the GAA’s Central Council where the GPA’s representative, Seamus Hickey, will be pushing for support of developing a formal policy to prohibit gambling advertising during games.  Our aim is that this policy would then be developed to allow it to be implemented as a rule change at GAA Congress 2021.

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 wish to remove any direct link to gambling advertising and our members.

Paul Flynn, GPA CEO, said; “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 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.”

 Hurling Black Card/Sin Bin

Meanwhile, the GPA will be voting against the introduction of a Black Card/Sin Bin in hurling at this weekend’s Congress.  Inter-county hurlers have come out overwhelmingly in opposition to its proposed introduction in GPA research.

The research was carried out by means of confidential surveys among 2019 championship panels between February 6th and February 20th.  In total 1116 inter-county hurlers from 35 squads took part in the research.  This is close to a 100% response rate.

89% of respondents are against the introduction of a black card/sin bin in hurling with just 11% in favour.  GPA delegates will abide by the players’ views and vote accordingly at GAA Congress.

On this issue Paul Flynn said; “We are calling on all delegates to support the views of the players at Congress and will share this information with them ahead of the weekend.”

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