Sports fans and punters, think the Australian NRL sports scandal is old news? Think again.
Media 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.
Sports 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 been 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.
Two years again 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 poor 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 story goes.
By 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.
Charity And NRL Clubs...Storm Linked Charity, Who Is Next?
An 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.
Investigators 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.
Insolvency firm Vince & Associates confirmed that it has also quizzed AFL players about payments they got from Unity Foundation, a charity established for Indigenous teenagers.
The players include many Essendon players and at least one St Kilda head, Network Nine Network reported on Thursday.
"We're 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.
"We're investigating all of the payments.
"We're contacting all of the relevant parties and giving them an opportunity to provide an explanation in relation to those payments."
Channel Nine reported the AFL and St Kilda politely declined to comment on the investigations involving the named charity.
Essendon top brass Ian Robson advised the payments to players appeared legit, although the Bombers were looking into the matter.
"From 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 said.
The 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 And Rumours
Centrebet, 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 next week.
The 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.
"We 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.
The team finishing with the least amount of points in terms of wins and draws would declared the wooden spooners when we paid out."
Rumours 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.
The 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!
The 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.
Simpson 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.
Queensland's 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.
Simpson 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 rugby league.
The 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.
A 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 regularly providing TV, radio and website reports and updates.
Based 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.
*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911
*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company
*The writer is a pro active member of Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance and Virgin Unite