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GAA bans betting sponsorship

The Gaelic Athletic Association has voted to ban sponsorship agreements between its properties and gambling companies in a move designed to protect the integrity of its competitions.

The vote was taken during the GAA’s Annual Congress meeting at Dublin’s Croke Park on Saturday. The GAA said in a statement that the motion prohibits “sponsorship by a betting company of any competition, team, playing gear or facility”.

Mick Rock, Connacht Council chairman, said the move, which was voted for by 93 per cent of 270 delegates, would “enhance the moral standing of the GAA in Irish life and protect the integrity of our games”.

Alan Kerins, speaking on behalf of the Gaelic Players Association, added that a large number of the organisation’s members had struggled with gambling issues and praised the GAA for “taking this leadership step for society as a whole”.

There are currently no inter-county teams which hold major sponsorship agreements with betting companies, although Irish broadcaster RTE noted that Armagh is a partner of Boylesports, a deal which is set to end following the GAA’s vote.