GAA urges Government to ban gambling on minor and underage games

The GAA is to make a proposal to the Government seeking to prevent bookmakers from offering odds on games involving players under the age of 18.

Currently, it is possible to bet on minor matches at inter-county level, with markets offered on a wide variety of possibilities, such as outright outcomes, handicap betting, goalscoring, and winning margins.

This would be prevented if the Government agrees to the GAA’s request to make an amendment to the 2013 Gambling Control Bill.

The GAA’s community and health department proposed the measure to the association’s Central Council, which approved it at its most recent meeting last month and agreed to take it to the Government.

“The GAA has made the proposal to the Government to alter the Gambling Control Bill,” said GAA communications manager Alan Milton.

“Submissions were sought and this was a suggestion from the community and health department, led by Colin Regan.

“Obviously, if it did become law, then it would only be enforceable in the 26 counties but we would see it as encompassing any GAA activities.”

The rationale for the proposal is based upon the fact that under-18s are themselves prevented from gambling and so it was felt that others shouldn’t be able to bet on events involving those under the age.

“That’s the conundrum,” said Milton.

“I think the general sentiment is that this should be the case for all codes where under-18s are playing, but obviously we don’t administer those and can only influence activity around Gaelic games.

“Players under 18 can’t bet and there’s an anomaly there that others can bet on them.

“I think the main tenor would be that this should be extended to all sports involving under-18s.”


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