The Community and Health department of the association, supported by the National Health and Wellbeing Committee, has proposed that the sponsorship by a betting company of any GAA competition, team, gear, or facility be forbidden, in a move that is part of a wider package of measures currently underway to tackle problem gambling and issues surround the integrity and honesty of gaelic games.
Currently, there are very few high-profile sponsorships that would be affected by such a move, with the deal between Crossmaglen Rangers and Bar One racing perhaps the most notable ongoing arrangement, while Pyramid Bookmakers also sponsor some adult championships in Leitrim.
However, both Louth and Derry have had large betting firms as their primary shirt sponsor in the past. The GAA’s Community and Health manager, former Leitrim footballer Colin Regan, is confident that delegates will support the aims of the motion.
“Research shows that athletes are a particularly high-risk group when it comes to problem gambling, while we’re also aware that adolescents in Ireland are more likely to engage in gambling than adults, which is another worrying sign statistic as we strive to protect their future health.
“Most units of the GAA are very socially aware so this won’t affect very many clubs and teams. However, we feel it would be best practice to simply eliminate any link.”
Regan also confirmed that this was one of several measures that were being put in place to try and address the twin threat of problem gambling and match integrity.
At the 2017 Congress, Rule 1.15 was voted in by a landslide majority, which prohibits players, management and officials from betting on games in which they are involved.