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Saturday 18 November 2017

Battle on for betting cash

This is the biggest week of the year for Irish bookmakers. Cheltenham week is a week like no other in the calendar, one where the money just rolls in.

And so it was interesting last week at a conference in Dublin Castle on the financing of sport, organised as part of Ireland's presidency of the EU, to hear several references to sports betting and the vast sums of money involved.

Sarah Keane, CEO of Swim Ireland, said that tax revenue from betting should be spread across all sports.

Solicitor Benoit Keane, who is based in Brussels and specialises in European law, went further. He said betting firms are effectively engaged in "ambush marketing" because although they are dependent on sport, they are not required to contribute to it.

Keane believes that sports organisations should have the intellectual rights to their own events. This could allow them to compel the betting industry to provide them with information, and also to seek a central pool to, for example, protect the integrity of sport.

Certainly food for thought given the week that's in it.

jgreene@independent.ie

Irish Independent

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