Australia - Betfair.com.au
Casino Teams Up With NRL's Melbourne Storm...
are expecting a cyclone size backlash as the latest
Rugby League club to link with a gambling establishment
after confirming Crown Casino as their new major sponsor.
In a massive deal snatcher for a club which last year
was disgraced after being stripped of all points and
two premierships during the salary cap scandal, the
Storm unveiled Crown as their front jersey sponsor
on Friday. Melbourne chief executive Ron Gauci agreed
there would be criticism of the club's link with gambling.
However he defended the arrangement and said Crown
offered a home for Storm supporters, which the club
had not had since it joined the competition in 1998.
All Storm after-match and mid-season functions for
members will be held at Crown. The casino believes
the sponsorship will boost their exposure interstate.
"I think you'll have those that wish to comment
but I think we need to emphasise what it is that we
wanted out of the relationship and that is a home
for our supporter base," Gauci said. "If
you think about what Crown has to offer as an entertainment
complex ... this is a great place to consolidate those
activities." The Storm lost major sponsors Host
Plus and ME Bank in the wake of last season's scandal.
Gauci said the new sponsorship delivered a message
of confidence in the Storm ahead of the 2011 season.
"I think it does deliver us a substantial message
to the marketplace, and for the club it's very important
to have an organisation as big a Melbourne icon as
Crown is to support the club. It delivers a magnificent
message about the confidence the corporate world has
in Melbourne Storm and our future direction."
The Storm joined South
Sydney as the second NRL club to have a gambling
establishment as their major sponsor, while Penrith
have renamed their home ground Centrebet Stadium and
Manly will also have the Centrebet logo on the back
of their jumper. Yes, NRL ramped up links to gambling
are all the rage. A rumour has started that igaming
want into Australia and would accept an NRL jersey,
shorts or even stadium deal. The firm is known for
its well known and respected PartyCasino,
Poker Tour brands, which have a strong following
in Australia, other parts of the Asia Pacific, such
as New Zealand. Party is also looking to ramp up sports
betting services in the Asia Pacific region. Melbourne's
announcement also comes in the same week as Ryan Tandy,
who left the Storm midway through last season to join
Canterbury, was arrested and charged as a result of
an ongoing police investigation into "irregular
betting" on a match between the Canterbury Bulldogs
and North Queensland Cowboys last August. Dennis Watt,
rugby league general manager with News Limited, who
own the Storm, defended the arrangement between a
gambling establishment and a sport sold as a family
game. "I can speak for Crown as an integrated
entertainment, retail complex. It is very much reflective
of the heart and soul of Melbourne and it's a great
relationship for us to have and I don't see a conflict
for the relationship the Storm have sought here."
He echoed the views recently expressed by NRL chief
executive David Gallop that the association between
sport and gambling "is as old as sport itself".
"Gambling's a part of the Australian way of life,
part of our character and our history," he said.
"We advocate moderation, we know that problem
gambling affects less than half a per cent of the
population. "You've got two million problem drinkers,
four million smokers, over nine million Australians
suffering levels of obesity which are also big social
spokesperson said "The Crown Casino - Melbourne
Storm sponsorship deal looks to be a match made in
heaven. Crown has world class facilities and entertainment
is the name of the game. Entertainment takes many
forms, be it football, burlesque, television, rock
bands or slot machines aka one armed bandits. Crown
Casino can do it all. Already this deal has generated
national and international headlines, and yes, we
are helping spread the word to our friends in the
U.S and Canada. Gambling911, CAP, GWPA and Poker News
Daily are just a few outlets that we expect to run
the story. It's balanced and positive coverage all
the way, instead of the agenda driven gaming hater
stuff you read from time to time. Chalk up more browny
points for Crown's James Packer and his world class
team at Crown, and good on the NRL and The Storm for
seeing the golden opportunity and moving it into high
gear. I never thought I would say this again after
last season's scandals, but Go The Storm!"
Betting Limited 'Bullet Proof' NOT! Says Maker Aristocrat...
card-based system forcing pokie players to set betting
limits isn't a "bullet proof" solution to
problem gambling, poker machine maker Aristocrat Leisure
Ltd says. Aristocrat, representing over 60% of the
Australian pokies market, is instead proposing a machine-based
system that lets gamblers set time and/or betting
limits. But the proposal was met with some opposition
when Aristocrat executives appeared before a joint
federal parliamentary committee hearing in Sydney
on Friday. The committee is investigating the idea
of a pre-commitment scheme using smart card or other
technology to force pokie players to set limits on
their gambling. It follows a controversial commitment
from Prime Minister Julia Gillard to Tasmanian "independent"
(so to speak - has seen to be bias and preduduce against
those liking a punt) MP Andrew Wilkie to introduce
such a scheme across the country in return for his
support of her Labor government. "As a company,
we acknowledge that there is a problem out there,"
Aristocrat general manager of corporate affairs Kristene
Reynolds told the hearing. "For us, coming here
today is to come to the table and be part of that
solution." The company's managing director in
Australia and New Zealand, Trevor Croker, said card-based
systems, which have been used in other countries,
can be manipulated by problem gamblers. "It is
not a bullet proof solution. People do swap cards
and have been able to use multiple cards," he
said. "I think finding the complete solution
is going to be a very difficult outcome. "It
should not be something we don't aspire to, but it
will be very difficult, from what we see in those
(other) markets." Aristocrat will soon trial
a new slot machine that features opt-in pre-commitments,
allowing users the option to set themselves spending
or time limits. These machines could be ready for
mass production from the end of 2012, and phased in
as part of the normal machine replacement cycle, Croker
said. But with the average cost of a pokie at $25,000,
Labor MP Stephen Jones questioned the Aristocrat executives
on the cost effectiveness of such a solution. "It
would be good for Aristocrat, I can see that. But
it's a very expensive solution to the problem, isn't
it?", he asked. Aristocrat general manager of
design and development Justin Brown said smaller venues
could be given longer to replace their machines, while
newer models may only require a software upgrade,
at a cost of about $3,000. Mr Wilkie, the committee's
chairman, also questioned the motives of Aristocrat's
proposal. "I can't help feeling an element of
commercial self interest in your advice to the committee
here," he said. Further questioning resulted
in the Aristocrat executives conceding their machine-based
proposal would not prevent problem gamblers from simply
switching machines or venues once they had reached
a pre-committed loss or time limit. The hearings continue
in Canberra and Hobart later this month. In Australia
the machines are often known as pokies or poker machines,
in the U.S - slots, and much of Europe - Fruit Machines
Sunshine Coast A Big Winner For Lottery Sector; Punters
To Win Homes Via BoysTown Gambling...
steal from the rich to give to the poor! Ok, not exactly,
but read on and you will get the drift soon enough.
The Sunshine Coast has long been regarded as a prize
location by local residents, but now a range of national
and state lottery organisations are taking notice.
BoysTown Lotteries recently unveiled a million-dollar
home in Buderim as its latest prize home offering.
Located at 22 Orme Rd, the home is part of a prize
package worth more than $1.5 million. It is arguably
one of Buderims most beautiful homes, according
to BoysTowns general manager fundraising Keith
Coventry. "Our previous lottery prize home was
in Nerang (Gold Coast) and the one before that was
in Rainbow Bay (Coolangatta). Now we find ourselves
in Buderim on the Sunshine Coast. When deciding on
a prize home, we look at the property itself and then
the desirability of the location and the features
of the area," Coventry said. "I think the
thing about Buderim is that you are close to the beach,
but you also have those great views over the ocean
and the coastline. I guess you get the best of both
worlds. "The Buderim home has been particularly
popular and the retail sales have been very strong."
Yet another contender in the Coasts prize pool
is a home in Mount Coolum, raising funds for the Mater
Foundation as part of the Mater Prize Home Lottery.
Also sporting a million-dollar price tag, the home
is located at 47 Boardwalk Blvd in Coolums Boardwalk
Estate. Twin Waters is the site of Surf Life Saving
Lotterys prize home, which is valued at more
than $750,000. The three-bedroom home at Lot 4 Ameen
Cct comes with $41,832 in furniture and electrical,
along with 12 months paid council rates. Coventry
said funds raised from the BoysTown lottery would
assist the Kids Helpline service, which was in particular
demand since the recent floods. "Kids Helpline
is certainly taking a lot more calls from kids who
are worried about the impacts of the floods, or who
have been affected by the floods. A lot of people
are seeking assistance with the mental health aspects
of this natural disaster, so I think that is certainly
going to be the focus of much of our fundraising over
the coming months." The money raised from Mater
lotteries help funds medical research teams and the
purchase of life-saving medical equipment, as well
as supporting patients and families. Surf Life Saving
lotteries assist Surf Life Saving clubs around the
country. Aussies, feeling lucky. Go on, give them
a go, and you know the money is going to a good place,
if you don't happen to win. Mind you, feel welcome
to check out the slots, poker, bingo and other casino
games showcased on the portal also. BoysTown Lottery
will set you back a bit, while at Media Man partners
like PartyGaming, many games can be played for free
or for money. The choice if yours. Hours of entertainment
for young and old - just kidding, check legalities
but most counties insist you are at least 18 years
old to gamble, and that includes from lottery to poker
to slots, ok crew!
Australia VS Productivity Watchdog: Dog Fight; Bark
Worse Than Bite?...
Australia will today accuse the nation's productivity
watchdog of making a mathematical error in its claim
that problem gamblers are responsible for 40% of poker
machine revenue. Media Man spokespersons and investigators
have been disputing the "problem gambling"
numbers for almost 2 years! The figure of 40% is being
used by anti-gambling politicians aka "gaming
haters" to try to justify new limits on gambling
the Gillard government has pledged to introduce to
maintain the support of independent MP Andrew Wilkie
in the hung parliament. Clubs Australia is fighting
a mandatory precommitment scheme that would force
pokies players to set a limit on how much they intend
to spend before they start gambling. It claims the
scheme will cost clubs and pubs $2.5 billion nationally
and cost thousands of jobs if it turns off casual
gamblers from having a punt, throwing a couple of
bucks down the throat of an "one armed bandit",
whilst often sinking a cold Aussie beer at the same
time (not that we endorse it). Beer can change ones
thinking, but you likely knew that already Jack! Politicians
backing the reform have seized on a claim in the Productivity
Commission report that problem gamblers contribute
40% of pokie revenue to justify the crackdown. Clubs
Australia president Anthony 'On The Ball' Ball will
tell a parliamentary inquiry in Sydney today the figure
is "highly contentious" and "inaccurate".
In his opening address to the inquiry he will say
that the Productivity Commission claims there are
95,000 problem gamblers who play the pokies and spend
on average $21,000 each year on the machines. When
multiplied together, this comes to a total of $1.995bn,
and this figure represents just 16.8% of the $11.9bn
total expenditure on poker machines. "These are
not our numbers. These are the figures from the commission,"
Ball will say. "Therefore the vast majority of
gambling revenue comes from recreational gamblers."
The Productivity Commission used a range of different
methods to calculate the amount spent by problem gamblers
and found both problem and recreational gamblers underestimated
how much they spent on gambling each year. The 40
per cent figure was not derived from multiplying the
number of problem gamblers by the amount they said
they spent each year but was derived from a range
of surveys that looked at what gamblers actually spent.
Clubs Australia will tell the parliamentary committee
the proposed mandatory precommitment scheme is a "massive
infringement of people's individual rights".
"There's a vast difference between making the
pre-commitment available to any player who wants to
use it, and forcing anybody who wants to play a gaming
machine to register, obtain a device and provide personal
details or fingerprints in order to be able to play,"
Mr Ball plans to tell the inquiry.
Gambling Enquiry: Traditional Gamblers Heading Online
For Slots, Poker, Roulette Et Al; Problem Gamblers
VS Problem Child Government Policy?...
hi-tech to force pokies players to set betting limits
would drive gambling addicts online in the masses
and divert resources away from helping problem punters,
a Senate inquiry has heard. The inquiry, chaired by
Tasmanian federal independent MP Andrew Wilkie, is
investigating the concept of a pre-commitment scheme
using smart card or other technology to force all
pokies players to set limits on their gambling. Clubs
Australia, the peak body for registered clubs in the
nation, on Friday told the joint parliamentary committee
inquiring into the issue it had reservations about
the proposal in its current form. Clubs Australia
executive director Anthony Ball said more research
was needed on how effective it would be. "There
is very little good research out there about whether
this proposal or any others are going to work,"
he told the inquiry in Sydney. "There are a multitude
of gambling opportunities. The strategy must not be
to drive (problem gamblers) online ... The strategy
must be to find these people, get them the right treatment
and turn their lives around." He said state regulations
on gambling were sufficient and that a 'one-size-fits-all'
policy should not be applied across all states. Clubs
Australia president Peter Newell said the three main
issues regarding the scheme were cost, whether it
would reduce problem gambling and the consequences
of implementing it. He said the system failed to work
in Norway, and instead drove problem gamblers to the
internet. Five million Australians would play the
pokies in any given 12-month period and the system
would only drive away recreational players, who represented
the "vast majority" of gambling revenue,
he said. "As a recreational gambler myself, I
am disturbed that there are people who think I need
assistance in determining how I spend my money,"
he said. "Mandatory pre-commitment fails to provide
what problem gamblers need most and that is treatment,
and in doing so, diverts attention and resources away
from treatment. Problem gamblers will still gamble
in the mandatory pre-commitment system. They are addicted.
But recreational gamblers will walk away from pokie
machines." Newell said the system would be expensive
and difficult to implement across 197,000 machines
nationwide, taking years and billions of dollars to
do - forcing clubs to close and costing thousands
of jobs - with no indication as to how effective it
will be. It's man VS machine; The People VS The Government,
and The Government VS The Gaming Industry. News media
and website portals just keep lapping up the action
resulting in a readership jackpot bonanza.
Stadium Done Deal; Sports Nuts And Punters Rejoice;
Attack Gaming Haters...
has buried and put the hurt on critics of its media
and public heat seeker naming-rights stadium deal
with Penrith Panthers, stating on the record that
the the anti-gambling lobby were "like cracked
records" in opposing it's newest deal. Off the
the record it called them a host of unspeakables!
The clubs' name change to Centrebet Stadium Penrith
was announced by the Panthers just yesterday after
the sponsorship rumours were first announced by Fairfax
Media, creating a title wave of coverage across the
globe. It's a 5-year deal, worth more than $1.5 million
bucks, making the western Sydney sports ground the
first down under to adopt the name of a bookie. Anti-gambling
campaigner Senator Nick Xenophon last week was pissed
at the NRL for permitting the Panthers to make the
name change, criticism that bit 'Mr X' (satire nick
name from MM) back from Centrebet when confirmation
came yesterday. Get
ready for this punters. You might like the 2 cents
directed at the gaming and casino haters... the thought
police. "The 'anti brigade' are becoming like
cracked records," Centrebet boss Neil Evans said.
"Why don't they survey the blokes walking into
the ground, down at the shopping mall, on the building
sites, and in the pubs and see what they think? My
attitude is...reality is reality. And business is
business. I congratulate the Panthers board and the
Penrith City Council on their forthrightness and strong-minded
stance. Most clubs, especially those hardly flushed
with cash, would dream about a 5-year ground deal
worth around $1.5 million, and that's before we start
talking about the spin-off effects for the community
and all the hard-working people in and around the
club." Media Man did a spot survey around the
eastern suburbs of Sydney and a spokesperson said
"About 90% of people in the community are fine
with gambling, gaming and sports betting. They know
a small percentage can get into trouble, but for many
Aussies is a strong tradition and a way of live. You
know, the Melbourne Cup, Two-Up, having a game of
poker with your mates, or throwing a couple of bucks
down the throat of a pokie just to try your luck.
Most level headed people, the non extremists, see
the merit in the Centrebet deal, and we understand
that now the likes of PartyGaming, Betfair and others
will be exploring possibilities for their firms, which
might just help save the NRL for massive financial
stress. It looks like a win - win win". The Federal
Minister for Sport, Mark Arbib, is working diligently
with reps of Australia's 7 major sporting codes on
ways to wipe out match-fixing but said the Panthers'
stadium deal was not a concern. A report compiled
by a working party commissioned by the the Coalition
of Major Professional Sports is set to be out by next
month. "Sponsorship of sporting codes and stadiums
is a matter for the individual stadium owners and
sporting organisations. The NRL have advised the government
that the sponsorship agreement between the Panthers
and Centrebet meets its own gambling and sponsorship
guidelines. The select council on gambling reform
led by Minister (Jenny) Macklin has put the regulation
of online gambling in their forward work agenda. And
as sports minister I'm working with the sporting codes,
including the NRL, on the issue of match-fixing and
integrity in sport." Centrebet currently has
sponsorships with 4 other clubs in the National Rugby
League, which forces all betting agencies associated
with the game to sign integrity agreements. The stadium
sponsorship was called as a great boon for Penrith
by the football club's chief executive, Michael Leary.
"Centrebet has been a responsible corporate partner
of the Panthers since coming on board with the club
in 2010. Our stadium has become a centre of excellence
by not only hosting high-level rugby league in the
national competition but through its ability to be
community-centric in accommodating several community
organisations. Centbet, The Footy Show sponsored corner
on Network Nine's 'The Footy show', now Centrebet
Stadium, next The World. Spies continue to tell us
that PartyGaming, Betfair and others are circling
the wagons and won't be taking it lying down. Punters,
get ready for another round of Australian gambling
wars. This week: Gambling lovers and punters 1 - haters
To Get Sports Stadiums Branded By Gambling and Gaming
Companies, by Greg Tingle - 15th January 2011
punters, journos, high rollers, sports news, entertainment
news junkies, politicians, insiders, outsiders...
one and all. Today we probe the situation where a
number of Australian sports grounds could soon be
named after gaming and gambling companies. How do
like the sound of Betfair Stadium, Centrebet Park
and PartyGaming Cricket Ground? Don't laugh, this
type of scenario is on the cards, with local gaming
brands likely the first to pounce, followed by international
powerhouses. Media Man http://www.CasinoNewsMedia.com
and Gambling911 with another ground breaking news
report from the land of world class casino, media
companies and sports arenas...
Will Get Gambling Arenas; Aussie Aussie Aussie; Oi
Australia being in the world's top 10 gambling nations,
it shouldn't shock or surprise that we're tipped to
soon have a number of sporting arenas and grounds
named after gambling and gaming companies, both national
and international brands. Yep, money will talk where
B.S sometimes walks.
Packer's Betfair is understood to build upon their
Betfair Park branding, Europe's PartyGaming is keen,
and currently Centrebet looks to be leading the charge,
with many insiders saying its a case of when, not
if, for the household name brand.
already has significant branding, thanks in part to
a swag of TV and online adverts, plus who can forget
the Centrebet branded part of Network Nine's 'The
gambling companies already have a number of key targets,
and many cash strapped and / or cash handy NRL team
and home grounds are near the top of the hit list.
instance NRL team, The Penrith Panthers, are seriously
considering having their home stadium named Centrebet
Stadium. We kid you not punters.
the deal goes through, they will make history becoming
the first major Australian sporting team to snatch
a betting firm as the naming-rights partner for a
Racing already has some naming rights deals with tracks
and in the mix such as Betfair Park and then you have
races named after gambling brands such as the Lasseters
Cup, Lasseters known for its hotel - casino up in
Australia's top end.
forecast Betfair deal comes as a police continue to
probe the NRL gambling scandal that from last season
following a number of "irregular" wagers
was picked up in the Canterbury Bulldogs VS North
Queensland Cowboys match up.
Panthers, Centrebet and a swag of gambling companies,
have rather pissed off the gambling and gaming haters,
who continues to get organised into lobby groups.
spokesperson such "Many people in and out of
news media and gaming, the general public, are starting
to get really pissed off at the gaming, gambling and
sports betting haters. The bible bashers. Who do they
think they are trying to push their beliefs onto others.
Many Australians just love a punt, and that's the
way it is. Some of the gaming haters have strong ties
to church groups and there appears to be some sort
of brainwashing system going on. They keep discussing
the 'evils of gambling'. I mean, seriously, come on.
People know not to over-do it on on the slots, sports
events, poker and the like, but the haters keep trying
to be the thought police. Gambling companies in Australia
have a very high focus on responsible gambling with
warnings everywhere. It's great to see the gambling
and gaming industry place so much focus on safe better.
The sports stadiums will be great for business, ,
but no one is forcing anyone to have a bet. It's a
personal decision, as it always has been. 2011 is
going to be a very exciting year for punters, especially
those who like to have a bet of sports matches, and
television and online website portals and brands will
bring it all together nicely".
to the first prime target #1...The modest 22,500-capacity
sports ground, owned by Penrith City Council, was
in a past life known as CUA Stadium. What's up is
that the club's contract with the Brisbane financial
services company has expired, and negotiations between
Panthers, the footy club and Centrebet have been taking
place, even prior to Christmas about renaming the
stadium. Other clubs and stadiums have also caught
the buzz and are opening chequebooks and crunching
first of its kind business agreement between the club
and Centrebet is just about a done deal, and ink is
expecting to try on contracts sooner rather than later,
possibly within a fortnight. An exciting, if not controversial
type of announcement is fully expected by the Panthers
in the coming week. Sports and gambling commentators
are quick to point out that Penrith already has ties
to Centrebet, the gambling brand being lit up across
the top of the video screen at the stadium. This kind
of exposure has also been very good for their mobile
- hand held device sector.
campaigner Senator Nick Xenophon is especially unhappy
with the development of the gambling branded sports
stadiums in Australia. He went on recent with:
can a footy code currently embroiled in a betting
scandal possibly allow a stadium to be named after
a betting agency? There was a time when rugby league
was all about the game. Now it's all about the odds,
and that is ruining the game".
the last couple of years the NRL (and AFL) has watered
down its laws and regulations relating to clubs' deals
and partnerships with gambling - sports betting firms,
allowing them to be branded on footy jerseys for a
virgin time. Cronulla Sharks have sponsor PokerStars
(.net) on their jersey sleeves while cashed up Manly
Sea Eagles are tipped to have Centrebet's signage
on the back of their jerseys this season after a widely
reported $1 million plus deal with the Northern Territory
based betting outfit announced just before Christmas.
Yep, it looks like a few clubs and stadiums will be
getting their Christmas presents and will have lots
to celebrate, while the gambling haters will be spewing
in Grinch like fashion.
National Rugby League of course also has corporate
ties with TAB Sportsbet, and is understood to snatch
a 5% "product fee" via the company's rugby
league betting profit.
spokesman John Brady advised he would not comment
on individual clubs' sponsorship agreements but maintained
there was no concern about the prospect of gambling
agencies assuming naming rights for the game's venues,
at least from his take on the situation.
an area that was relaxed last year. As such there
are a number of betting sponsorships that are available
to clubs in terms of jerseys and other opportunities,"
advised any and all betting firms involved with the
NRL via sponsorship of clubs were made to sign "integrity
agreements" to ensure transparency.
majority of NRL clubs now have corporate deals with
betting agencies. Centrebet sponsors five teams: Penrith,
Manly, Parramatta, St George Illawarra and North Queensland.
"Comon' Betfair and PartyGaming, pull you're
finger out", a Media Man sports journalist was
overheard shouting when he found out the news of Centrebet's
ongoing infiltration of the sport.
stadium pending name change has been intertwined we
understand by some to the financial problems that
have hit the football club's parent body, Panthers
licensed club is no longer quite the licence to print
money as it was in the 90s Some audited figures about
to do public by the conclusion of the month are expected
to show black and white confirmation of a Murdoch
- News Limited news story of last February that said
Panthers were due to report a rather embarrassing
net loss of $11 million bucks.
are not afraid to speak on the record about their
on and off field performance, which has seen better
Simpson, Panthers Group chief exec since last July,
said a culture change and "renewal of process"
across Panthers clubs had improved their situation.
Analysts question that was a PR line or absolute truth.
Mind you, we don't blame club for trying to focus
on positives. "We're probably looking at reducing
that loss by somewhere in the order of $8-$9 million,"
spokesperson said "At this stage of the gaming
the overseas trend of seeing sports groups and football
teams pick up sponsorship and strong branding for
gambling, gaming... sports betting companies looks
to be moving full speed ahead down under in Australia.
Centrebet might become the Bwin of Australia. PartyGaming
is said to be currently crunching numbers to see if
an Australian sports ground deal is viable. They already
have a Aussie Millions former champion sponsored by
their poker brand and a couple of Aussie poker players
signed up, so anything is possible. James Packer's
Betfair, a direct competitor of Centrebet is not likely
to take the situation lying down either. Betfair is
50% Packer owned and wants to keep building their
sports betting brand, as well as opening up many online
casino games in Australia, poker and more. Could an
Australian sports stadium ever be known as PartyGaming
stadium or WPT Stadium? Not overnight, but never say
never, stranger things have happened. It's all going
to add a lot of money into the game and business of
sport and entertainment, and already our firm is starting
to experience some positive spin off benefits. It's
all very exciting and profitable".
Scandals In Australia Continue, by Greg Tingle - 10th
fans and punters, think the Australian NRL sports
scandal is old news? Think again.
Man and Gambling911 have learned that a new wave of
untoward matters are happening to the great game of
Rugby League and other sports, and some of the rorts
are even tied to charities. It's much bigger than
"just" sports betting. There's even a Gold
Coast - Surfers Paradise real life 'Underbelly' link.
No wonder the formally named Conrad Jupiters Casino
at Surfers' got ride of the "Conrad" tag.
bets placed on the Melbourne Storm NRL for the "wooden
spoon" may have been the recent trigger to recent
Aussie sporting scandals, but we can now reveal that
a number of Australian charities are being dragged
into the investigation. It's long being known that
charity and philanthropic sector ventures can be used
and abused as a way to clean wash aka launder and
shuffle around money. We've all heard the story of
"two sets of books", and some punters will
be acutely aware of ways in which extras can be given
to players while in some cases, (technically), staying
below the salary cap.
years ago a number of Australian charities were investigated
for rorts, scams and the like. The former 'Just Enough
Faith' came off worse for wear, with proof that head
of the charity was using substantial money raised
to pour down the throats of poker machines aka "one
armed bandits" at a number of NRL Clubs including
Balmain Tigers, where much of the like was established.
Former supporters of 'Just Enough Faith' included
Australian casino king, James Packer, head of Crown
Limited, and famous Australian actor Russell Crowe,
ironically now staring in Ned Kelly ... you know,
stealing from the rich to give to the poor, so the
the way punters, Gold Coast Titans are currently in
the mix of new hot favorites for the "wooden
spoon"! But, we're not sure what may happen to
those chances in the coming days, such is the intensive
scrutiny of the game, and named club.
And NRL Clubs...Storm Linked Charity, Who Is Next?
insolvency company has an investigation on the way
re payments made to various AFL players by a charity
linked to the Storm NRL salary cap mess.
for the league are probing the now-defunct Unity Foundation
to work out if the charity was used to steer money
to Storm players outside the salary cap.
firm Vince & Associates confirmed that it has
also quizzed AFL players about payments they got from
Unity Foundation, a charity established for Indigenous
players include many Essendon players and at least
one St Kilda head, Network Nine Network reported on
investigating the liquidation of Unity Foundation.
Our investigations have identified some payments to
players of Essendon and St Kilda and Melbourne Storm,"
Vince & Associates director Kylie Wright said.
investigating all of the payments.
contacting all of the relevant parties and giving
them an opportunity to provide an explanation in relation
to those payments."
Nine reported the AFL and St Kilda politely declined
to comment on the investigations involving the named
top brass Ian Robson advised the payments to players
appeared legit, although the Bombers were looking
into the matter.
what I am led to believe from an initial two-hour
glance the relationships are at arm's length of the
Essendon Football Club and appear to be bona fide,
but we need to do some more investigation," Robson
NRL last month stripped the Storm of their 2007 and
2009 premierships and fined the club $1.6 million
for long-term breaches of the salary cap.
Wooden Spoon Market Re Opens Despite Ongoing Scandals
currently being seen as a strong purchase from a number
of European - British gaming and betting giants, will
re-open "wooden spoon" betting on the NRL
agencies revised market points deducted for salary
cap breaches would not be considered, a decision that
means the likes of underdog team Cronulla would again
be the hot favourites to prop up an adjusted NRL ladder.
are just waiting on approval for some changes to the
rules which will facilitate betting on the wooden
spoon again," Centrebet managing director Con
Kafataris said. "We want to be covered if teams
lose points again. For our our purposes any points
deducted for things like salary cap beaches would
not effect betting on the wooden spoon.
team finishing with the least amount of points in
terms of wins and draws would declared the wooden
spooners when we paid out."
have circulated this week among the betting agencies
that another NRL team, Gold Coast Titans, could be
stripped of points for a salary cap breach.
NRL insists there has been no developments in regard
to the Titans, who were cleared last month by the
governing body's auditor Ian Schubert of an alleged
cap rort relating to claims from the developer Alex
Simpson that he had been commissioned to build captain
Scott Prince a new $400,000 house free of charge!
legal matter between Simpson and the Titans is likely
to reach a conclusion soon with Justice James Douglas
from Brisbane Supreme Court, tipped to make a ruling
by next week.
argues he is owed $4.2 million by the Titans over
the club's Centre of Excellence, which he was contracted
to build until the project was fenced off in February
over his failure to pay subcontractors. The Titans
have moved with a counter-claim Simpson owes them
more than $1 million.
corruption watchdog, the Crime and Misconduct Commission,
is meanwhile following up on a complaint about the
police investigation by Burleigh Heads police into
a break-in at the Merrimac offices of Simpson's company
Simcorp in February.
has reportedly been interviewed by the ABC's Four
Corners, whose team are preparing a program examining
alleged corruption and rorting of the salary cap in
ABC, Fairfax Media and AAP are keenly chasing a number
of leads by insiders in the world of media, agents,
gaming and sports betting. Media Man is assisting
when and where possible, despite many people being
extremely hesitant to speak out. Strong rumors persist
of a number of death threats being made to those who
look to further expose additional Australian NRL and
AFL footy clubs. It's appears only the brave and those
of big heart, are likely to continue to blow the lid
on the additional club scandals.
Media Man birdie tells us there's some hidden clues
in this latest report as to who and what may be linked
in an untoward fashion, but for legal and other reasons
we can't spell out too much as far as charity names
and individuals at this stage of the game. Fairfax
Media, namely The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age,
are tipped to the be outlets strongly following up,
backed by solid legal eagles, and the Australian Broadcasting
Corporation (ABC) is fully expected to be regular
providing TV, radio and website reports and updates.
on legal advise, Media Man is not currently releasing
the name of a prominent Queensland based charity being
probed in relation to the Gold Coast Titans.
Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911
Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal
writer is a pro active member of Media, Entertainment
& Arts Alliance and Virgin Unite
Man Australia spearheads media and publicity campaign
for Betezy - KnightsBet
- SharksBet - BunnyBet - TitansBet
sports news story - Daily Telegraph, Sydney Morning
Herald, The Age, News.com.au, The Sun-Herald, The
Weekend Australian, iGaming Business, CAP, Gambling
National Rugby League (often referred to as the Telstra
Premiership for sponsorship purposes) is a professional
competition for rugby league clubs in Australia and
New Zealand, and is Australia's primary rugby league
competition. It is the world's most attended rugby
league competition and often considered the most competitive.
National Rugby League was formed in 1998 following
the merging of the Australian Rugby League and Super
League competitions, and is currently contested by
sixteen clubs. In a total of nine seasons, the title
has been won by seven teams: Brisbane Broncos, Bulldogs,
Melbourne Storm, Newcastle Knights, Penrith Panthers,
Sydney Roosters and Wests Tigers. The most successful
team are the current champions, the Brisbane Broncos,
who have won the title three times and are the only
team to have won the title more than once.
more details on this topic, see History of the National
1980s brought about much expansion to the New South
Wales Rugby League premiership, with new teams Canberra
and Illawarra being introduced into the competition
in 1982. Although this move brought out more interest
in the competition statewide in New South Wales, it
would spell the beginning of the demise of some of
the traditional Sydney-based clubs. Following the
1983 season, foundation club Newtown Jets were ultimately
forced to withdraw from the competition because of
financial difficulties. In 1988, another three teams
were introduced in the competition, including the
Newcastle Knights and two Queensland teams Brisbane
Broncos and Gold Coast-Tweed Giants. These new teams
proved to be much more successful both financially
and in popularity than their traditional counterparts
and paved the way towards a push for a more nationalised
game. This was further established in 1995, with the
Australian Rugby League inviting four more teams from
outside NSW to participate.
With twenty-two teams playing in two competitions
in 1997 crowd attendances and corporate sponsorships
were spread very thinly, and many teams found themselves
in financial difficulty. On September 23, 1997 the
ARL announced that it was forming a new company to
control the competition in 1998 and invited Super
League clubs to participate. On October 7 Rupert Murdoch
announced that he was confident that there would be
a single competition in 1998 and in the following
months the National Rugby League, jointly owned by
the ARL and News Limited, was formed.
was announced that the 1998 Season would have 20 teams
competing, 19 Super League/ARL teams and the Melbourne
Storm, who were owned by News Limited. Clubs on both
sides of the war were shut down. News decided to close
the Hunter Mariners and the financially ruined Western
Reds, who were $10million in debt at the end of 1997,
while the ARL decided to close down the South Queensland
Crushers, who were also in severe financial trouble.
At the end of 1998 News Limited decided to close down
the Adelaide Rams and the ARL closed down the Gold
Coast Chargers, even though they were one of the few
clubs to make a profit during the Super League war.
A Partnership Executive Committee administers the
agreement between the Australian Rugby League and
News Limited as well as making major financial decisions.
Three representatives from each party make up this
committee. A National Rugby League Board which is
commissioned by the Partnership Committee is comprised
of six delegates from each party is responsible for
administering the competition. Both bodies nominate
a Chairman to lead each board for a term of 12 months,
with one Chairman representing the Australian Rugby
League and one representing News Limited in any one
year. These roles reverse each year.
National Rugby League markets the premiership on behalf
of the clubs as well as organising the draw and finals
matches. Along with the Australian Rugby League, representative
matches and the World Sevens tournament are also promoted
by the National Rugby League as well. When the draw
is finalised, teams are responsible for controlling
and organsing their assigned home games. Clubs each
have their own organisational structure but are also
bound to the National Rugby League by a common set
of rules in club agreements.
Competition format and sponsorship
There are currently sixteen clubs in the National
Rugby League. Teams are divided into two equal pools
of eight at the competition of each season, with each
pool of equal strength based on that season's results.
During the course of the regular season (which lasts
from March to August) each club plays a total of two
games against teams in the opposite pool, once at
their home stadium and once at that of their opponents
for a total of 16 games for each club. Teams play
six of those seven others in their own group just
once during the season, and play the remaining club
twice. In total, each team plays 24 games in the 25-week
regular season and a total of 192 games in a National
Rugby League season. Teams receive two points for
a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded
for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then
points difference and then points percentage. At the
end of each season, the club with the most points
is declared minor premiers.
Qualification for finals series
Canberra Raiders and Newcastle Knights playing at
Canberra Stadium in 2005.The eight highest placed
teams then contest the finals series, which is contested
using the McIntyre System. This has been for every
National Rugby League season with the exception of
1998. This system consists of a number of knockout
and sudden-death games over four weeks between the
top eight teams in August and September until there
are only two teams remaining. These two teams then
play in the Grand Final, on the first Sunday of October.
In the first week, the top four seeds play at their
respective home grounds. From week two onwards, all
finals matches are scheduled to be played in Sydney,
either at Aussie Stadium or Telstra Stadium.
1998 the Grand Final was held at Sydney Football Stadium.
Since 1999 the Grand Final has been contested at Telstra
Stadium, the primary athletics venue during the 2000
Olympic Games held in Sydney. In June 2006, the NRL
announced that the National Rugby League Grand Final
will continue to be held at Sydney's Telstra Stadium
until at least 2012, when it will be considered to
be moved interstate if certain circumstances arose.
Since 2001, the National Rugby League has been sponsored
by Telstra. In the years beforehand, the premiership
was simply known as the "National Rugby League".
The list below details who the sponsors have been
and what they called the competition
National Rugby League
2001current: Telstra (NRL Telstra Premiership)
Competition rules and representative season
Main article: Salary cap
The National Rugby League adopted a salary cap based
on the Australian Football League model in the early
1990s. In the NRL, clubs found to have breached the
salary cap rules usually incur a fine. For example,
six clubs were fined for minor infractions in 2003.
These infractions are usually technical in nature
and can sometimes be affected by third-party factors
such as loss of sponsorship revenue affecting an allowance.
in mid-2002, the Bulldogs were found guilty of serious
and systemic breaches. In addition to a more substantial
fine, they were stripped of their competition points
accumulated to that date, and hence denied a place
in the finals. As the club had been leading the competition
table prior to the penalty's imposition, this was
a shattering outcome for the club and its fans. Furthermore,
in the 2006 pre-season the New Zealand Warriors revealed
that their former management had rorted the salary
cap in the 2004 and 2005 seasons. As a punishment
the club was stripped of four competition points for
2006 and fined $430,000 Australian dollars. They also
must play 2007 under a reduced salary cap.
As well as playing for their club in the National
Rugby League season, players are sometimes entitled
to play in a number of representative competitions
that are conducted at the same time. These competitions
include the one-off ANZAC Test and Country Origin
VS City Origin matches and the State of Origin series.
In order for a player to qualify for a representative
team in these competitions, they must firstly be eligible
to be chosen for the side. In recent times, these
qualification requirements have been relaxed which
has seen a number of players representing teams which
they would not have always been allowed to play for.
This has caused some controversy given that some players
have chosen to play for arguably weaker teams (hence
making it easier to be selected) despite only having
weak ties with that team both geographically and ancestrally,
most notably in the case of Australian-born Nathan
Fien being selected for New Zealand on the ground
that his great-grandmother was born in New Zealand.
A 2004 match between Brisbane Broncos and the Bulldogs
The National Rugby League premiership has ultimately
been revolutionised by television, with there being
a large shift away from daytime games to nightime
games over recent years to better suit the contracted
television networks Channel 9 and Foxtel. From 2001
onwards, the Grand Final has been held during the
evening of a Sunday night.
the admission of the Gold Coast Titans to the premiership
in 2007, the number of weekly games has risen from
seven to eight. Free to air broadcaster Channel 9
will broadcast a live game on Friday night in addition
to a delayed match that has been featured for some
years. A delayed Sunday match will also continue to
be shown on the network.
News Limited-begun Foxtel network which broadcast
its first rugby league matches during the 1997 Super
League season has broadcast the remaining National
Rugby League matches since the competition's inception
Each club in the National Rugby League has a "top
squad" of twenty-five players, which are signed
under the Salary Cap (as described above). By and
large, the players who play in National Rugby League
matches are sourced from these "top squad"s.
Occasionally during a season, however, the need may
arise for a club to use players outside these 25,
and in this case players are usually sourced from
the club's junior ranks (such as the relevant Premier
of the players in the National Rugby League are of
Australian origin, although there are increasing numbers
of both New Zealand and Pacific Island-born players
being selected by clubs. In recent years, Polynesian
players have made up 75 per cent of junior representative
teams in New South Wales. English-born players in
the National Rugby League amount to very few, particularly
when compared to the significant number of Australian-born
players appearing in the European Super League. However
the few English players who appear in the National
Rugby League, such as Adrian Morley and Brian Carney,
have noted that the National Rugby League provides
a higher standard of rugby league than is played in
players voted to be the best in each position at the
end of the season are honoured at the Dally M Awards,
with the player of the year awarded the Dally M Medal.
The man of the match in the Grand Final is awarded
the Clive Churchill Medal.
Bulldogs hold the record for the most consecutive
wins, having won 17 matches in a row between 31 March
2002 and 3 August 2002. The Parramatta Eels set the
records for the highest score and margin of victory
in a 744 victory over the Cronulla Sharks on
23 August 2003. The most victories achieved within
a season is 20, held jointly between the Parramatta
Eels in 2001, the Bulldogs in 2002 and the Melbourne
Storm in 2006. None of these teams went on to win
the Grand Final.
the first National Rugby League season in 1998, a
total of six players have topped the scorers list
in a season. However, the only player to have won
the title more than once is Hazem El Masri, the overall
top scorer in the National Rugby League's history,
having claimed the title in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006.
His tally of 342 points in 2004 remains the most points
scored by an invididual in a season.
Vagana's 130 tries scored across all nine seasons
of the National Rugby League makes him the most prolific
try scorer in the competition's history. Nathan Blacklock
holds the record for the most tries in a season, with
27 scored in 2001 for his team, the St. George Illawarra
players hold the record for the most points scored
in a game; Hazem El Masri, Andrew Johns and Matt Geyer
with 34 apiece. Only three players have scored five
tries in a game; Francis Meli, Jamie Lyon and Nigel
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