Bookie slams min­is­ter over bet ban

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

A LEAD­ING book­maker has slammed Fed­eral Sports Min­is­ter Mark Ar­bib’s sug­ges­tion t h a t A u s t r a l i a n s p o r t i n g bod­ies should have the power to out­law ex­otic bets.

As the scan­dal over an al­leged NRL match sting on an ex­otic bet­ting op­tion es­ca­lated with two more ar­rests this week, Sen­a­tor Ar­bib stepped up his call for a na­tional ap­proach to com­bat­ing match fixi n g . T h e g o v e r n ment h a s formed a work­ing group to pro­duce na­tional laws on the is­sue, and be­lieves Vic­to­ria could pro­vide the model.

Vic­to­rian l eg­isl at i on em­pow­ers sports to sign agree­ments with bet­ting agen­cies which de­ter­mine what can be bet on, al­low­ing for ve­to­ing of ex­otic bets.

How­ever, vet­eran bookie Ger­ard Daffy said the plan would be in­ef­fec­tive and likely to hurt sport in Aus­tralia fi­nan­cially.

‘‘ Two things will hap­pen,

it will drive bet­ting un­der­ground as peo­ple are in­ter­ested in this type of thing, so they will find some­where to do it,’’ Daffy said.

‘‘ The other thing, and this is more im­por­tant, is that it will drive pun­ters over­seas.’’

Aus­tralian book­mak­ers pay five per cent of their prof­its from gam­bling on the NRL and AFL as a prod­uct fee, some­thing over­seas com­pa­nies are ex­empt from.

The de­bate comes as lead­ing player man­ager Sam Ay­oub and f ormer Syd­ney r ugby league player John Elias face charges over an al­leged scam in a North Queens­land v Bull­dogs NRL match last year.

Sus­pi­cions were raised by the num­ber of bets laid on the ex­otic op­tion of a penalty to be the first scor­ing points.

NSW de­tec­tives yes­ter­day said they were still search­ing for four uniden­ti­fied men who placed bets at TABs in Syd­ney and Townsville.

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