Australian Sports Want And Need National Gaming - Gambling Regulations

Written by:
Greg Tingle
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G'day everyone. The Australian gambling, casino, sports betting and political news keeps coming thick and fast. We've got more of the gambling lovers VS haters, political fun and games and more. Media Man and Gambling911 with your regular Aussie round up...

Australian Sports Want And Need National Gaming - Gambling Regulations...

Down Under's biggest sports have called on the federal government to introduce tough laws to make it easier to target the bookies who seek to corrupt sportsmen with illegal sports-betting. The lobby group representing the country's biggest sports - cricket, AFL, NRL, rugby union, tennis, soccer and netball included - want a new federal law based on Victoria's sports betting act to apply in every state that would also provide a deterrent to those who would try their best to corrupt sports. The Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports met with federal Sports Minister Mark Arbib in the past 48 hours to push along the case for a unified national law. "Existing criminal legislation is inconsistent across Australia and does not deal specifically with corruption in sport," coalition chairman James Sutherland said. "We need a significant deterrent for those who look to corrupt players or influence those who can alter the course of a sporting event," Sutherland said. He said such a law would help the sports "future proof" against corrupters getting a foothold in Australia. "The main feature of this legislation restricts sports betting providers from offering betting services on an event without first reaching agreement with the sport on information sharing and the payment of a product fee. We are also asking for legislation to include an obligation on all betting providers to retain and make available betting data to sports in case they need to investigate suspected corruption and for sport to have the right to stop bet types that encourage corruption in sport." Arbib is set to attend an International Olympic Committee seminar on combating illegal sports betting in Europe later this month. Federal laws would make it easier to have a unified approach but with many of the biggest bookmakers in world sport operating out of India and Pakistan, no offend intended for either country (but facts are facts) international co-operation is arguably more important. The group's executive director, Malcolm Speed, said it was very difficult to unify laws internationally but that should not prevent Australia from establishing a cohesive approach to the issue. "Each state and territory has a different law. You could have a situation like (corrupt former South African captain) Hansie Cronjie where he comes into Perth and is caught in corrupt activities, he moves onto Adelaide and does the same thing but is not caught under South Australia's laws," Speed said. All experts agree, a comprehensive approach and solution is required.

Cricket, NRL, AFL And Others Want Sports Betting Clean Up...

Major sporting groups in Australia, including Cricket Australia and the National Rugby League, have requested the federal government to adopt legislation to prevent incidences of betting-related corruption. It comes the same week as 3 Pakistan cricketers were each banned for a minimum of five years for spot-fixing in a series against England, and following the arrest of an Australian rugby league player for providing false evidence to police over suspicious betting activity. Sports betting is big business in gambling-mad Australia, where an IBISWorld survey last year showed that the market share of sports gambling over five years had nearly doubled from $1.6 billion per annum to $2.9 billion. On Friday, the Coalition for Major Professional and Participation Sports, made up of the Australian Football League, Australian Rugby Union, Cricket Australia, Football Federation Australia, Netball Australia, the NRL and Tennis Australia, said it had prepared a detailed report on sports betting. The coalition even got help from sports betting providers Betfair and Tabcorp, which may not be as much a case of strange bedfellows as it seems. Nearly all of the sporting groups have betting agency logos on their home pages on the Internet. The sporting groups say having ties with official betting agencies helps them to monitor gambling and to ensure the integrity of their competitions. And, of course, to earn some extra sponsorship money. "There have been very few instances of betting-related corruption in Australian sport," James Sutherland, Cricket Australia chief executive and chairman of the coalition group, said in a statement Friday. "Australian professional sports have an excellent record dealing with these matters. What we are looking for now is help to future-proof the sports from betting-related corruption. Existing criminal legislation is inconsistent across Australia and does not deal specifically with corruption in sport." Sutherland said the group recommended a "nationally consistent legislation on cheating in connection with sports wagering would be a far more appropriate way to address the risk of sports-betting corruption." "We need a significant deterrent for those who look to corrupt players or influence those who can alter the course of a sporting event," Sutherland added. Cricket was involved in two high-profile cases of players involved in gambling issues in Australia. 3 Sri Lankan players claimed to have been approached on their tour of Australia in 1992, while Australians Shane Warne and Mark Waugh admitted being in contact with an Indian bookmaker in 1994...saying they were giving only pitch and weather information — and were later fined for their actions. The International Cricket Council's anti-corruption tribunal last weekend banned Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir for a minimum of five years for bowling no-balls at predetermined times in a test against England to fix spot-betting markets. Closer to home, rugby league forward Ryan Tandy of the Canterbury Bulldogs was granted bail after being arrested for allegedly providing false evidence during a police investigation into suspicious betting activity. He was stood down by the club. New South Police are investigating betting irregularities during an NRL match between Canterbury and North Queensland on Aug. 24 last year. There was a betting plunge on the first points of the game being from a penalty, with suspicions raised about Tandy's role after he was penalized for lying on an opponent in front of the goal posts. Tandy could face up to five years in jail if found guilty of providing false evidence to a law enforcement agency during the course of an investigation. Malcolm Speed, a former ICC president and now executive director of the sports coalition, was reluctant to comment Friday on the sporting group's close association with online betting agencies, only saying that he "didn't think" it would affect the government's opinion when considering the national legislation. Peter Young, Cricket Australia's general manager of public affairs, told The Associated Press that his group is "comfortable" with its association with online gaming houses. On the Cricket Australia website, there is a link to nine online companies referred to as "official betting partners." "These are credible, betting brands," Young said. "We steer them (online visitors) to those brands. If they are going to have a bet, we'd prefer to steer them towards those people." Young said that for most of the last decade, there has been a regulatory requirement that force betting companies to have formal integrity agreements with sport. "It is revenue," Young said of Cricket Australia's connection with the gambling agencies. "We're not trying to create an impression that there is not a commercial element. But what we're trying to do is ensure that nothing can damage our sport." While online betting services logos flash intermittently on the AFL, NRL and Football Federation Australia websites and there is regularly betting updates during cricket TV broadcasts in Australia, there is no such endorsement from Netball Australia, which runs basketball-like sport popular with tens of thousands of women. "Test your gambling knowledge," said the headline on the home page. It then directs the reader to an online survey being conducted by two Australian universities to determine the reader's propensity for gambling. While lottery scratch tickets, bingo and poker-style machine are mentioned, those forms of gambling were all overshadowed in the past few years by gambling on sports, which features prominently in the survey. The connection between Australian sport, sports betting and gambling appears to be stronger than ever and will not decline, at least in not revenue, for sometime yet.

Tasmania Devil David Wicked Walsh Monanism Continues To Cause Controversy; Art, Porn Or The Devil's Work? Monanism: Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, To July 19

The world is still buzzing about Tasmania's favorite, Devil, David Walsh - the arty fellow who built his financial wealth from the gambling sector. "Wicked" Walsh aka "The Devil" Walsh's new museum is in a gorgeous location, built into the hill overlooking the Derwent River in Hobart. Descending the spiral staircase, you enter a new world. Walsh has been quoted as saying he wants to create a subversive adult Disneyland. Walsh thinks of his museum as a soapbox or megaphone, a vehicle for publicising his vision of the world. He is atheistic to say the least. He preaches that sex and death are the twin poles of our existence. Walsh is especially interested in the evacuation of bodily waste and has even commissioned a machine to emulate the human digestive process and produce its own synthetic faeces. The exhibition is called Monanism, and perhaps this is where the banished sexual appetite has ended up. Walsh may not be for all, but it can be an acquired taste. Our spot survey showed more people are interested to know exactly how he made his money, than find our the fine detains of his art fetish.

World Class Aussie Chef Enjoys Love Hate Relationship With Casinos Down Under...

Sean Connolly had a falling out with 'Sin City' Sydney gaming giant Star City less than a year ago, but he's come back for seconds, returning to the gambling world. The award-winning chef and TV personality is opening a steakhouse and seafood restaurant in a new food precinct being developed by Skycity Auckland, in the land of sheep New Zealand. The 140-seat ground-floor restaurant, with the working name Sean's Grill, will be located in the casino complex's Grand Hotel lobby, opposite celeb chef Peter Gordon's Bellota, and is set for a July opening. "It's my first overseas restaurant and I'm over the moon about it. The story is that he will not be relocating permanently to Kiwi land as his role is more consultant than hands-on owner-chef. "For the next six months while we're setting it up I'll be (in Auckland) full time during the week and home at weekends but once it's up and running I'll be there on a monthly basis, 12 times a year. It will be like Tetsuya in Singapore or Ramsay at Crown." Connolly is looking to recruit some staff from fine-diner Astral...his former Star City restaurant...but is currently not sure be da boss in his Auckland kitchen. "We're going to have a bit of fun with that. I'd like a local chef so we're probably going to set up a competition. We might be doing a TV show around the opening of the restaurant. If it goes ahead we'll do auditions to get the top 3 contenders and do a cook-off." In the meantime, Connolly is also focusing on his role as consultant chef with international catering and hospitality outfit Restaurant Associates, which has Gordon Ramsay, Albert Roux, Michel Roux Jr and Gary Rhodes on its books. Well, once again we see the gambling and good food do mix. If you get a chance, grab a feed at his digs. A good meal is supposed to help make the brain function better, so that may assist your gambling, or then again, it might put you off having a punt. Bet sure to let us know your findings.

Jail For Woman Nabbed Stealing From Boss...

A Launceston woman has been sentenced to 8 months jail for stealing more than $30,000 from her employer. 30 year old Olivia Jane Adams admitted stealing from her employer, Tasmanian Perpetual Trustees for 12 months from July 2008. She was a customer service officer who was responsible for receiving and banking cash and depositing cheques. Adams stole money every day over the period, totalling a cool $34,000, until she was caught. Chief Justice Ewan Crawford said she spent the money on gambling, marijuana and cruising around the state. Adams was sentenced to eight months prison and ordered to pay back the stolen money.

Perth Man Gets Jail For Stealing From Boss; Paying Off Gambling Debts...

In a fishy story, a 53-year-old fellow was sentenced to two and a half years in jail for stealing $156,000 worth of abalone from his employer to pay off his gambling debts. Azumi Pilden pleaded guilty in the Perth District Court to one count of stealing as a servant, relating to stealing 1.2 tonnes of quick frozen abalone from his employer Leeuwin Star, a seafood processing and exporting firm based in Wangara, from June 2006 to March 2008. Judge Anthony Derrick was told Pilden, a courier driver and production coordinator, then on-sold the abalone to seafood company manager Kevin Huynh for a lower price and falsified receipts with his employer's letterhead. Defence lawyer Shane Adam said his client had an entrenched gambling addiction and by 2004 he had accumulated $150,000 in debts with the casino and various loan sharks. He said a loan shark paid off his debts, but after veiled threats were made about paying the money back he entered into the arrangement with Huynh, who approached him with the proposal. Adam said Pilden took advantage of his boss David Leith's absence from the business due to illness to abuse his position of trust. The court was told Pilden continues to gamble on a weekly basis. Pilden and Huynh were charged after a joint covert operation by police and the Department of Fisheries targeting the black market abalone trade. When Pilden was originally charged, it was alleged the amount of abalone stolen was much higher than 1.2 tonnes. Huynh was handed a two year suspended sentence last year for his part in the illegal racket. The court heard Pilden only pleaded guilty after learning Huynh had agreed to help prosecutors in their case against him. Judge Derrick said Pilden's actions had caused significant financial and personal hardship to the owners of Leeuwin Star, as well as having indirect consequences for other businesses that supplied abalone to Leeuwin Star on consignment. He said Pilden viewed the stealing as a "fast track and easier way". Fishy business does not pay.

Problem Gamblers To Get Boot From TAB...

Unhelpable problem gamblers, all 900 of them, should be banned from betting in TAB venues, a gambling watchdog says. Independent Gambling Authority director Robert Chappell said the Government was informally in favour of the idea that the authority be given the power to ban problem gamblers from many or all TAB venues. Under the present system a licensee can ban someone but not stop them from going to the next TAB. Chappell advised the bans would include all betting available in TAB venues, including Keno and sports betting. He said the authority had requested the banning powers after being approached by families of chronic gamblers asking if their loved ones could be stopped. "We expect most of the business would be voluntary barring but also involuntary, so your friends and family could ask for barring if they have concerns for your welfare," Chappell said. "What is missing is if you have a person with a problem in a dozen places; the authority could bar them from all of them. "The form of gambling in a TAB is more dangerous than say lottery at the newsagent. We have been asked to ban people from the TAB but never from a newsagent. You can stand in a TAB and put a bet on every minute." Chappell said it was not possible to say exactly how many people would be affected by the bans. He believed if the existing pokie barring system was extended to TAB outlets and licensee pokie barring was centralised, those numbers would rise from 765 to up to 2000, with up to 900 having some sort of TAB ban. TAB-only bans would be small but many people banned from pokie venues also would include TAB outlets in the orders, he said. The authority had not decided how to enforce the ban but could use identification, fingerprint scanners or by signing in. Treasury is studying the plan, which Chappell endorsed at a Federal Government gambling inquiry. SA Senator Nick Xenophon, co-sponsor of the inquiry with Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie, has also been briefed on the idea. Banning problem gamblers from SA Lotteries products could not be easily enforced as outlets were easily accessible, Chappell said. There were similar issues with barring from bookmakers and racing clubs. Exactly how bad a persons gambling habit has to be banned is not exactly clear at the time to press.

Australian Sport Fixing Scandal; Problems Not Fixed Yet...

Ex AFL star David Schwarz thinks Ryan Tandy betting saga won't be the last spot-fixing scandal to engulf Australian sport. The reformed gambling addict believes NRL player Tandy is just the first in what could be a long line of sporting stars suspected of accepting money to rig a match. In a wide-ranging interview, Schwarz says sporting associations are treading a fine line by forming ever-closer ties with betting agencies. He also believes players gambling on matches has been rife for years, and that sport betting enjoys far too much exposure. Bulldogs forward Tandy was arrested last week for providing false evidence to a law enforcement agency. Betting was suspended on a Bulldogs-Cowboys NRL match last last season, when agencies reported taking an unusual amount of money on North Queensland to open scoring with a penalty goal. Tandy dropped the ball from the kick-off, then conceded a penalty in the first set of six, but the Cowboys declined an easy shot at goal and scored a try. Schwarz hopes Tandy's legal battle will act as a deterrent, but he believes the penny is still some way from dropping. "It won't be a deterrent. We've still got a long way before that becomes clear," Schwarz said. "I hope it is a warning, but I fear that this is just the tip of the iceberg. When money's involved, people involved that aren't credible and there's a huge amount of money to exploit, you're always going to have problems." South Sydney and Melbourne Storm recently inked lucrative sponsorship deals with Star City and Crown Casino respectively. And Centrebet has snatched naming rights to Penrith's home ground for the next 5 years. "I just think associations and leagues have got to be very, very careful. If you're going to take money off them you have to suffer the consequences down the track, which may be players, coaches or managers being involved. "Where there's money to be won through gambling, there's going to be scumbags that are going to take advantage. It's very hard, because a lot of clubs can't be viable without the injection of money generated through gambling. Sometimes footy clubs give away too much for the sake of a dollar." The Melbourne Demons legend was consumed by gambling for 15 years. Stay tuned as we continue to probe the connection between Australian sport and gambling on a weekly basis.

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