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GAA issues ban on gambling sponsorship deals

The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) has taken steps to introduce a blanket ban on sponsorship’s from betting companies within the sport, reports rte.ie.

After last years prohibition on players and management wagering on games they are involved, the GAA details that is is now “prohibiting the sponsorship of any GAA competition, team, playing gear or facility by a betting company.”

The motion received backing from 93 percent of the 270 delegates at the GAA’s annual congress.

Despite no county side currently having a bookmaker as a major sponsor, it has been detailed that some clubs and county boards do have partnerships with betting companies.

It is believed these deals will be allowed to continue, until the stipulated end date written into the respective contracts.

Mick Rock, of Connacht GAA and who forwarded the motion, has previously spoken of the sport becoming “besieged by gambling” in general.

However, speaking on behalf of the motion added “that banning sponsorship by betting companies would enhance the moral standing of the GAA in Irish life and protect the integrity of our games.”

Alan Kerins, GPA (Gaelic Players Association) delegate, has spoken of a believed increasing problem for players regarding the issue, pointing to the fact “that of the 77 players who requested counselling services last year, 15% of them were for gambling-related issues.”

Adding:  “We were hugely supportive of this motion. The GAA is a very significant organisation socially and this is a big step, not only to protect the players but also the wider GAA community. They are taking a lead on it, both nationally and internationally on it.”

John Horan, installed as the 39th president of the GAA at the congress, stated that the association had “taken the lead out of pure social responsibility,” adding “it’s a societal thing in Ireland. It might be something in our genes, to be betting.”

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