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GAA Overwhelming Vote To Ban Sponsorship From Betting Companies

GAA Overwhelming Vote To Ban Sponsorship From Betting Companies
By Arthur James O'Dea Updated

Motion 1 on today's agenda at the annual GAA congress has passed, with a hefty majority voting to ban all sponsorship by a betting company across the association on a whole.

With a 93% majority, congress has removed the option of a betting company sponsoring "any competition, team, playing gear or facility."

Given the astounding issues with gambling addiction that have been documented within Irish society generally, this is a landmark moment for an organisation that now appears well ahead of the curve in a wider sporting sense.

The Connacht Council chairman Michael Rock has suggested that after the introduction of a rule forbidding players and officials betting games in which they were involved, this latest ruling was "the next logical step."

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One of those to speak most openly in favour of the motion was former Armagh and Crossmaglen football, Oisin McConville.

Having detailed his own lengthy struggle with gambling addiction, it was with some unfortunate irony that his club decided to find primary sponsorship with a betting company.

Although no inter-county side has such an arrangement in place, the proliferation of major sponsorship deals between betting companies and football clubs in the Premier League alone would have suggested that this too many have changed in time.

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Given the undoubted money that such organisations can provide compared to more traditional options, a factor McConville did discuss in an interview given to Second Captains last week, this decision by the GAA has effectively nipped any such scenario in the bud.

While certain figures will assuredly question whether the GAA is being a little foolhardy in categorically removing itself from a place in which such money could be attained, the decision - much like the vote itself - is being treated as a positive step generally.

See Also: Lee Keegan Speaks On GPS Throwing Incident From All Ireland Final

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