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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 20 August, 2019

What can be done to tackle the gambling crisis in the GAA?

Is the Association fighting a losing battle?

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

REVELATIONS FROM GALWAY this week that two clubs in the county bet on themselves this year has brought the issue of gambling and the GAA bubbling to the surface once again.

There are plans from the GAA’s Health and Wellbeing Committee to bring a motion to Annual Congress next year, whereby measures aimed at stopping players from betting on games and competitions they are involved in would be introduced.

Such measures would prove almost impossible to police, however, as former Galway hurler and addiction counsellor Justin Campbell has acknowledged.

“The player will walk into Paddy Power’s and put on the bet himself – who’s to stop it?

“Suppose you’re knocked out in the championship in an All-Ireland quarter-final, you can’t have a bet either because it’s still the competition you were involved in.

“I don’t know what the right way is but something needs to be done – an open debate needs to take place.

“You can make all the policies you like but if players don’t adhere to them, you’re in serious bother.”

During the summer, leading bookmakers Paddy Power and Boylesports moved to stop betting on underage GAA games.

But one former inter-county star has indicated to The42 that players at various levels involved in gambling on various sports is now a “massive crisis.”

“It’s the topic of conversation in many dressing rooms,” he said. “Lads reaching for phones after matches and training, to check if a team/horse/dog is after coming up trumps for them. Sad but true.”

But what’s the solution, if any?

Take our poll and have your say in the comments section below…

Poll Results:

There's not much that can be done - if somebody wants to get on a bet, they'll do so. (932)
Make a start by introducing measures to prohibit gambling on games and competitions players are directly involved in. (575)
Other suggestion (specify below). (82)

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