Police asked to look at another NRL betting plunge
THE NRL last night called in police to investigate the Melbourne Storm wooden spoon betting plunge amid revelations punters obtained inside information to net nearly $ 200,000 in winning bets.
NSW Racing chief steward Ray Murrihy carried out a report into the betting sting months ago, the contents of which were kept secret until they were uncovered yesterday.
In the report, Murrihy found: ‘‘ privileged information was leaked and used for betting purposes’’ by punters who had prior knowledge of the Storm salary cap scandal.
One punter won $ 40,000 from the TAB by backing Storm at 200/ 1 less than 24 hours before they lost all their points and all up, the TAB paid out $ 70,000 on the Storm wooden spoon option.
Bookmakers and the TAB were forced to suspend betting on the wooden spoon the day before the NRL stripped the club of all premiership points, such was the extent of the plunge in three states.
In his report Murrihy wrote: ‘‘ The level of betting activity and the volume of betting on the wooden spoon was consistent with confidential information concerning the gravity of the salary cap breach and its possible consequences for the Melbourne Storm having been divulged prior to the 11am meeting between the Melbourne Storm and the NRL officials in Sydney on the 22nd of April.’’
‘‘ However, of concern to the NRL will be that the evidence does lead to the conclusion privileged information was leaked and used for betting purposes.’’
The report found no Storm players or officials or NRL or News Limited employees placed a bet. Murrihy’s confidential report recommended:
• D E V E L O P I N G i m p r o v e d confidentiality of privileged information provisions to include all board members, executives, officials, coaches, players, player agents and employees.
• CREATING an ( within the NRL).
The NRL refused a request to release the report, even with the names of punters blacked-out.
‘‘ Ray ( Murrihy) and I talked about the report but didn’t see anything to pass on beyond the NRL,’’ NRL
arm spokesman John Brady said yesterday afternoon.
But last night, the NRL had a change of heart and decided to hand the report on to police.
Murrihy was reluctant ment when approached thoughts on the sting.
‘‘ The NRL asked me to look at betting to see if any Storm players or officials or NRL officials were involved in the betting,’’ Murrihy said yesterday.
‘ You’ll find in the NRL press release that I found some people bet with prior knowledge.’’ to comfor his