In a somewhat surprising move, Paddy Power has banned betting on under-18 sports games on their website.
On Tuesday, Paddy Power made gambling news by announcing they will stop allowing gamblers to bet under-18 sports. This has caused a stir amongst some betters who have enjoyed U 18 betting for years. Paddy Power commented by saying, “Those customers may be disappointed that they will no longer be able to bet on these sports, especially when they’re on TV or high-profile matches, but we understand that there is a general concern around the issue so we have responded.”
The Gaelic Players Association (GPA) has supported the move, but Paddy Power claims it was an independent decision. It was reported by the Irish Times Newspaper that rival online sportsbooks Boylesports will also be banning under 18 sports betting.
Gambling Addiction Continues to Plague Ireland
Concerns over internet gambling in Ireland have been increasing over the past few years. Last month, news broke that Irish footballer John Malachy McGurk was given a 30 month jail sentence for stealing from his employer. McGurk gambled the money (approximately half a million pounds) as a result of his addiction.
The Gaelic Players Association has publically supported that Paddy Power has banned U-18 gambling. They will continue to monitor the effects that gambling has on their athletes, and made a statement on Tuesday. “As well as the immense reputational damage and personal devastation gambling addiction can have on a player and those close to him, the issue poses a very real threat to the reputation of inter-county football and hurling in general if the integrity of the games is compromised.”
A 2014 survey of professional Irish footballers concluded that one in four believed gambling to be a problem in their sport. In 2012, gambling addiction was nearly 33% of all the cases brought to the Gaelic Players Association.
What do you think of the news that Paddy Power has banned betting on under 18 sports? Is it a good decision? Leave your comments below!