Ireland’s Gaelic Athletic Association Says No
According to a recent press release, the highest ranked amateur sporting entity, Gaelic Athletic Association of Ireland unanimously voted in support of prohibiting sponsorships offered by betting companies in the country. At its annual conference held at the Croke Park in Dublin, the Gaelic Athletic Association had a voting event where a staggering 93% of the total 270 delegates cast their vote in favor of banning the concept of sponsorship by betting companies in lieu of any type of facility, playing gear, team or competition.
In addition to this, the Congress also ended up voting in favor of putting complete restrictions on the sponsor companies (regardless of whether they are related to gambling or not) from putting their brand logos on the playing gear and clothing of the tournament officials.
While there are no inter-country teams of the Gaelic Athletic Association that offer sponsorships for betting currently, the Irish bookmakers Boylesports have a working deal with the Armagh football and the Bar One Racing sponsors, the All Ireland Club champion Crossmaglen Rangers. The twin deals are all set to expire and not be renewed at the end of their respective terms.
As one of the delegates at the event remarked, the ban on the betting sponsorship in Ireland is critical for improving the moral standards of the Gaelic Athletic Association in the minds of the native residents and also preserve the integrity of their betting games. Given the fact that the Gaelic Athletic Association has already put a prohibition on the officials and players from betting on the particular games that they are associated with, it may be safely assumed that the ban will be able to successfully accomplish its intended mission.
Expressing his support for the ban, Alan Kerins, the spokesperson for the Gaelic Players Association remarked that given the far-reaching issues associated with gambling, nearly 50% of the total 77 players had to resort to the counseling services offered by GPA last year. However, it is yet unclear as to how exactly will the betting sponsorship ban be able to restrict the accessibility to the online gambling services for the players down the line. In addition to this, one delegate, Jack Devaney, also tried to convince his fellow delegates to support the prohibition of the alcohol companies from doing business with any entities associated with the Gaelic Athletic Association.