The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) has been praised for its approach to responsible gambling in Ireland.
In a new report, the association has said that it would like to see in-play betting banned during games.
The study also revealed that the GAA had prepared a responsible gambling awareness initiative in a postponed event.
Moving towards safer gambling
The research was funded by the Gambling Awareness Trust. In this, it said that the organisation had planned to have an awareness campaign on the All-Ireland senior semi-final weekend. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was called off.
Especially at club level, match integrity was an area that the GAA was worried about. In the report, the association said:
“The GAA would like to go further by banning the ‘in play’ betting options offered on games. This is the kind of proactive approach only an independent regulator can champion, according to our interviewee from the GAA.”
The association is also working on launching a new gambling awareness campaign. Focusing on education, this will roll out on both national and regional levels. The Gambling Awareness Trust has funded €52,000 towards this initiative. The programme will include an ad campaign, with both amateur and professional players the main audience.
The GAA has already supported an outlawing on gambling advertising and sponsorships. Three years ago, it voted in favour of an explicit ban on these partnerships across the island.
According to the report, the “socially responsible” approach of the GAA “in stark contrast to the approach of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI)”. The association’s agreement with SportPesa, a Kenyan sportsbook was mentioned. Dundalk’s BetRegal partnership was also noted.
The research also pointed to what it called a “gamblification” of sport in the country. This refers to rising levels of gambling advertising online and in mainstream media, which could result in broader related problems being amplified.
What else did the report say?
According to the research, gambling revenue in Ireland has risen over the last year. This is in spite of betting shops being closed for lengthy spells due to the pandemic. It’s estimated that up to 55,000 people in the country could have problems with gambling.
The Gambling Awareness Trust’s report concluded with the following:
“Too much time has already been wasted and 2021 must see a decisive change in the Irish gambling landscape. Covid can not be allowed to further stall this important legislative agenda because covid is further contributing to the growth of online gambling and potentially gambling harms more broadly.”