The campaign was first seen in advertisements in last weekend’s match programmes and will be rolled out among players and clubs over the coming weeks.
The Association certainly has the authority to stand up in this area having banned all forms of betting related sponsorship at this year’s Congress.
The campaign will focus on three key areas informing all members of the Association’s rules relating to gambling, highlighting research identifying athletes as an at-risk group in relation to problem gambling and advising people in need of help of the support services available in Ireland.
Awareness posters are being distributed to every club in Ireland while a gambling awareness presentation and club gambling policy, designed by the GAA’s Community & Health Department, will also be made available to all interested clubs.
GAA rules governing the area of gambling include the successful 2017 motion to Congress prohibiting any player, team, member of a management team, or match official, from betting on any element of a game in which they are involved.
The monitoring of this rule has been strengthened by the recent development of memorandums of understanding (MOU) between the GAA and the Irish Bookmakers Association and Betfair / Paddy Power.
These agreements allow for the sharing of sensitive information should either party suspect that their rules or terms and conditions have been broken. Sanctions include suspension and possible disbarment from the Association.
“Gambling and sport is a societal issue in the modern world,” said GAA President John Horan.
“The wellbeing of our members and the integrity of our games are paramount to the GAA. The Association has made significant strides in recent years to preserve both and we hope that his campaign offers our clubs and members the resources necessary to continue that work at grassroots level.”
“I never thought I could become addicted to gambling when I started betting,” added Galway Hurler Davy Glennon who is backing the campaign having opened up about his own struggles with gambling addiction earlier this year.
“I had no idea of the potential consequences of what started out as a bit of fun. I’m delighted to support the GAA’s campaign to ‘Reduce the Odds’ and I hope that the posters and the presentation keep other players and members fully aware of the GAA’s new rules but also of the risk to their wellbeing. I recommend anyone that is concerned about their gambling to seek help sooner rather than later. Reaching out helped save my life.”
Image Credit: Ramsey Cardy Sportsfile