Bookie slams minister over bet ban
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.