The GAA and GPA have voiced concerns over gambling advertisement during live sporting events and have petitioned lawmakers and broadcasters to limit gambling coverage.
GPA and GAA Join Forces to Curb Gambling Advertisement
Gaelic Players Association (GPA) and Gaelic Athletics Association (GAA) are pushing for new nationwide legislation to ban gambling advertisements during live sports events.
Both associations have already placed their own gambling sponsorship bans, the former having reached out to broadcasters last year to limit gambling ads during live coverage of Gaelic hurling and sports.
GPA Player Welfare Manager Jennifer Rogers has discussed the issue with the Irish News and said that she and the GPA will strongly advocate for the banning of advertisements during live games but for now their priority during the pandemic is looking after their players and “making sure the supports are there for them when they need them”
GPA referenced the Economic and Social Research Institute report in which a high percent of respondents believe that their teammates gamble on a weekly or daily basis.
Colin Regan Urges for Government Action
The GAA’s Community and Health Manager Colin Regan called for more government intervention and for an alliance between all Irish sporting bodies.
“It’s time for the government to properly tax the enormous amounts of money that the gambling industry is making off the back of Gaelic Games and direct it back into addiction services,” the former Leitrim GAA player said.
Regan highlighted the need for funds to go to more important issues like health-enhancing programs and men’s health issues.
“A united voice from GAA, rugby, soccer, athletics, hockey can reach an audience that public health messaging just can’t,” he added.
Sweeping Reforms Are on Their Way
The Dáil has already introduced new legislation which will result in sweeping reforms and modernization of gambling laws in Ireland.
College of Psychiatrists of Ireland followed after that with a call to ban immediately gambling advertisements during live sporting events.
Professor Colin O’Gara, a Consultant Addictions Psychiatrist, stated: “We cannot continue to ignore the links between problem gambling and the current high volume of betting ads – be that in traditional TV ads or on team jerseys and side-line banners.”
Gambling Addiction and Tons of Money
Fine Gael Senator Joe O’Reilly has called for a cap of 100 euros per bet to fight gambling addiction. He remarked that more than 10,000 euro is spent every minute on online gambling. One company is cashing in 77% of its profits through the online segment.
Senator O’Reilly discussed how gambling addiction affects the lives of people, their mental health and behavior, and how more losses lead to more gambling. He further insisted that people should not be allowed to gamble on a credit, and only use their own debit cards and funds.
“It might be enriching some sports bodies, but it is ruining the lives of their members and future generations because the firms know that’s where their target market is.” O’Reilly said.
Senator O’Reilly suggested introducing more responsible gambling messages and referrals to addiction services for high spender costumers.