Wednesday 25 April 2018

'We need to protect GAA from inside gambling'

Players' Betting

Rules may need to be framed to govern betting by GAA players on games in the future, GAA director-general Paraic Duffy advises in his annual report.

Duffy is reflecting on the growing issue of "problem gambling" in Irish society and the effective work which the Association has engaged in with the Gaelic Players Association over the last year.

A set of guidelines on gambling will be issued to players and clubs in the near future, which will encourage members in difficulty to seek assistance.

The guidelines will also highlight the serious consequences concerning match fixing or use of inside information for financial gain for individuals, teams or third parties.

But Duffy believes that rules may have to be framed to protect the "integrity" of the games.

"It is important that support be given to players who are trying to cope with a gambling addiction," he writes. "Equally, there is a need for the Association to develop clear guidelines, even rules, to govern betting by players on GAA games.

"One obvious rule would be that players would not be permitted to bet on a game in which they are participating. Betting on the internet will become increasingly accessible, and increasingly tempting, over the next few years.

"We need to take account of that reality and to redouble our efforts to safeguard the integrity of our games and to provide adequate support for players for whom gambling has become a major personal problem."

Some high-profile players have spoken openly about the challenges they faced with a gambling addiction and Duffy has praised their "courage" to do.

"Problem gambling is a growing concern in contemporary Ireland," he writes, "one which, inevitably, affects a significant number of GAA players."

Irish Independent

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