Po­lice asked to look at an­other NRL bet­ting plunge

Townsville Bulletin - - Rugby League -

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

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