NRL Match Fixers Face 10 Years Jail; Pokies Law Could Kill Clubs

Written by:
Greg Tingle
Published on:
Mar/04/2011

G'day punters, sports fans, legal eagles, law enforcement officials, player agents, politicians...one and all. Today we can revel that two NRL football identities have been arrested in Australia and that the Australian legal system has in mind up to ten years jail time for those found guilty of match fixing in the league. Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com and Gambling911 crash tackle and clothesline the situation. 

Two Aussie NRL Identities Charged Over Match Fixing...

Two Australian blokey blokes arrested in relation to an NRL betting scandal have been charged with attempting to defraud a number of betting agencies. A 48-year-old man was arrested about 9.45am today at a home in south western Punchbowl in Sin Sydney  and a 49-year-old bloke was arrested when he dropped by Campsie police station at 11am today. Police did not name the two men, but some news media have named them as player agent Sam Ayoub and former first-grade player John Elias. Rupert Murdoch's News Limited said both had denied involvement in the alleged betting scandal. "We will be alleging these individuals dishonestly placed bets," Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis said today. "These are serious allegations that go to the heart of the game." Dees from the New South Wales Crime Command's Casino and Racing Investigation Unit have been examining suspicious betting on an NRL match up between the Canterbury Bulldogs and North Queensland Cowboys last year. Some say the "dogs" and "cowboys" are named rather appropriately. The incident involved a betting plunge on an option that the first points of the game would come from a penalty goal. Doggies player Ryan Tandy was penalised two minutes into the game for impeding Cowboys playmaker Grant Rovelli right in front of the posts. The Cowboys were awarded a penalty, but did not go for a kick at goal and instead scored a try from a quick tap. In Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court today, Tandy pleaded not guilty to 4 charges of giving false evidence to police investigating betting on 2 NRL games...the Cowboys match in August last year and a Doggies - Gold Coast Titans game in June last year. His bail was continued with the case adjourned for mention on April 7, when Tandy won't have to attend the court. The two Aussies arrested today have been granted conditional bail by police and are due to appear in the Downing Centre Local Court on April 7. NRL chief executive David Gallop said the rugby league would survive the scandal. "It's a seriously alarming development. I can't comment on the guilt or innocence of those that have been charged. What I can say is the game is strong in its resolve to investigate these types of issues, make sure that it's placed in the hands of the police quickly. We've done that on this occasion and we now need to let them and the court process play out."

Player Agent Sam Ayoub And John Elias Charged For NRL Betting Look At 10 Years Hard Time...

The NRL's betting scandal gets white hot with just over a week before the new footy season with the arrests of high-profile identities Sam Ayoub and John Elias and the laying of more charges against Canterbury-Bankstown forward Ryan Tandy. Tandy appeared in court and officers from Taskforce Suburb nabbed player agent Ayoub and confessed match-fixer Elias, later charging the pair with attempting to defraud betting agencies. Ayoub's business premises in the Sydney suburb of Leichhardt aka "Little Italy" were also raided. They have been granted conditional bail to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on April 7 and could face a decade in jail if found guilty. Both men though have denied any involvement in the alleged betting scandal. "We will be alleging these individuals dishonestly placed bets," Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis said. "These are serious allegations that go to the heart of the game." Ayoub's lawyer Danny Eid refused to comment on whether his client would defend the charges, going with "I'll speak to the court on the seventh (of April)." The widening of the scandal over a round 24 match between Canterbury-Bankstown and North Queensland Cowboys last August came a day after the NRL had launched their new season and as Dally M medallist Todd Carney was being fined for his latest alcohol-related saga. "It's a seriously alarming development," NRL boss David Gallop said. "I can't comment on the guilt or innocence of those that have been charged. What I can say is the game is strong in its resolve to investigate these types of issues (and) make sure that it's placed in the hands of the police quickly. "We've done that on this occasion and we now need to let them and the court process play out." A second NRL game could also come under scrutiny with one of Tandy's 3 new charges of providing false or misleading evidence relating to a game between the Bulldogs and Gold Coast on June 18 last year. Ayoub also represents some of the biggest names in the game, including Johnathan Thurston, Robbie Farah and Jamal Idris. There is absolutely no suggestion that any of these players are involved. Elias has been jailed 3 times and admitted to trying to fix a game in the 1990s in his recent hot selling book. Detectives from the NSW Crime Command's Casino and Racing Investigation Unit have been examining a plunge on a betting option that the first points in the Bulldogs-Cowboys game would come from a penalty goal. Tandy was penalised just 2 minutes into the game near the goalposts but the Cowboys did not opt for a kick at goal and instead scored a try. In Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday, the Bulldogs prop pleaded not guilty to 4 charges of giving false evidence. His bail was extended and the case adjourned for mention, also on April 7. Coppers say the investigation is ongoing but refused to speculate whether there would be more arrests. Media Man and Gambling911 think that that the stiff jail terms should prove to be a deterrent to others who wish to engage in match fixing activities in Australia, but time will tell, and there's usually one or two other gooses willing to try their luck.

New Aussie Pokies Law Would Hurt NRL Bottom Line And Community Initiatives...

A large number of NRL clubs including St George Illawarra and the Brisbane Broncos reckon they will be dealt a deadly hit by the Gillard Government's proposed poker machine money caps. Numbers obtained by News Limited reveal leagues clubs will lose more than $200 million if the mandatory pre-commitment scheme is enforced. Yep, $2000 million bucks. This would rape $25 mil from 11 NRL teams...the Dragons, the Eels, the Broncos and the Bulldogs. Another $15 mil would be ripped out of from junior clubs. Souths Juniors at Kingford, a stones throw from Maroubra Bra Boy territory, gives $3 million to their up-and-comers, and has been doing so for years...that would be slashed. It would also impact more than 400,000 members and 2000 staff at leagues clubs. The only teams that survive without funding from leagues clubs are the Newcastle Knights, NZ Warriors, Melbourne Storm and South Sydney Rabbitohs. Families Minister Jenny Macklin responded to the club's claims as "a total overreaction". "Rugby league and every rugby league team will be completely safe under the Government's gambling reforms," she said. "We want to stop people getting hooked on pokies. "When tobacco sponsorship was banned, footy clubs said they'd go under. They were wrong and they're wrong about this too." St George Leagues Club CEO Danny Robinson said he would tell his board to shut the club if the scheme comes in, cutting off $3 million a year in funding to the Dragons and surrounding district clubs. "Wait until the last day that we were able to and then close the doors," he said. "Wait for it, close the doors, all our staff are out of a job, I'm out of a job. Don't ask me what happens to the football club." In a submission to the joint select committee on gambling reform, Broncos general manager Geoff Kuehner advised the scheme would rape revenue by 40% "which would significantly jeopardise our future". Souths Juniors CEO Geoff Knight said the $3 million his club gave to children's teams would be gone, as would the club itself. "It basically means the end of the club as we know it," he said. NRL CEO David Gallop said junior clubs would be decimated, stealing lower-income children of a chance to play sport. It would also slashing funding to top level clubs, he said. 

"Time will tell, but we're told this is not a media beat up, and the damage to the NRL and feeder clubs is real. It's also well know that many people who don't like gambling also are not big fans of sport, including football. Many footy fans like to have a bet on the outcome of games, and some like to try their luck on the pokies also, as well as sinking a couple of cold ones on game day", a Media Man staffer - team player said.

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Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Tell us in the forum. 

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a dozen sectors covered

*the writer is a fan of Sydney Roosters And South Sydney Rabbitohs

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