FORMER GAA president, Sean Kelly has welcomed as “extremely positive” the majority vote by MEPs today in favour of new measures to regulate the online gambling industry and prevent corruption in sport.
The Kerry man, who has long experience as a GAA player, coach and administrator, is particularly worried about how online gambling could impact on junior and underage sports.
“The adoption of the report Online Gambling in the Internal Market is very significant for sport,” Mr Kelly said at the European Parliament, Strasbourg.
MEPs backed the key elements of the report proposed by the Ireland South MEP to prevent match-fixing and any fraudulent or negative influence that online gambling could have on sport.
As a member of the Committee on Culture and Education, Mr Kelly co-signed and tabled a number of key amendments to the report which calls for a strengthening of EU-wide policy.
“Sporting federations and gambling operators should include, in a Code of Conduct, a ban on betting on so-called negative events, such as yellow cards, throw-ins, corner kicks or penalty kicks, during a sports event.
“This report specifically calls on clubs to introduce a self-regulatory general ban on players, coaches, referees, medical and technical staff and those having a direct influence on a sports event could not place bets on their own sports events.
“Under the coordination of the European Commission, I also want to see greater cooperation at European level on the prohibition of online betting illegally on match-fixing or junior sports competitions involving minors,” Mr Kelly said.