The GPA have proposed that the GAA ban gambling advertisements during live TV and radio broadcasts.
The official inter-county players body are entitled to bring forward one motion to Congress. However, this year they have recommended by Croke Park to put their recommendation to Central Council that the GAA insist on the measure with its various broadcast partners.
At Congress two years ago, the GAA voted to prohibit the sponsorship of any GAA competition, team, playing gear or facility by a betting company.
The motion to Central Council will be raised by GPA chairman and representative on the group Seamus Hickey. According to a GPA statement released this evening, it’s their intention that the idea be implemented as a rule change at next year’s Congress.
Part of their statement read: “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.”
GPA CEO Paul Flynn pointed out that gambling has been raised as an issue of concern with their members in the recent Economic Social Research Institute report.
He said: “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.”
Meanwhile, the GPA will not be supporting the introduction of the black card/sin bin to hurling. Although they have representation on the playing rules committee that are forwarding the motion, 89% of respondents to a GPA questionnaire opposed it being applied in the smaller ball code.
We’re urging all delegates to support the views of the players at Congress and will share this information with them ahead of the weekend.
The black card motion is expected to be defeated although a decision may yet be taken to remove it from the Clár.