NRL Chief Defends Ties to Betting Operator
Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) chief, Todd Greenberg, has defended their ties with betting partner, Sportsbet, following new allegations of match-fixing in the sport.
Allegations have been made against West Tigers centre Tim Simona who is alleged to have placed bets on opposition players in an NRL game last year. It is expected that Simona will have his contracted ripped up and will receive a life ban from the sport.
This has led to the questioning of the partnership between the NRL and Sportsbet – a A$60 million deal which was signed in 2016, making them the official betting partner and giving the NRL a percentage of the bookie’s turnover. However, Greenberg defended this partnership during an interview with ABC News 24, saying that a good balance existed.
“I made some strong comments last year, you’ll remember, about anyone involved in match-fixing or gambling inside the game against the rules will face life bans and I stand by that because that really cuts to the absolute core of the integrity of the sport,” stated Greenberg. “For you and I to turn up every week to watch that contest, we need to know that’s pure. Anyone who gets in the way of that will absolutely not be welcome back.”
“But we do have to find a balance because people, particularly in this country, they love to have a bet. And we’re not going to get away from that. So whether or not we have branding or not, people are still going to be looking to have a wager on the game.”
He continued that Australians love to wager on sports, whether it be football, cricket or horseracing and the aim of the NRL is to help punters enjoy the game, while the sport maintains its integrity.
March 30, 2017