Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Betting Money Flood May Lead Us into Temptation

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Betting Money Flood May Lead Us into Temptation

Article excerpt

CALL me a wowser, but the revelation this week that $600 million will be wagered on NRL matches through legal betting agencies in 2010 has me both bewildered and very nervous.

That is more than six times the combined salary cap of the 16 clubs, which many are finding increasingly difficult to fund. Percentages returned to the NRL from this massive turnover have no doubt been a carrot.

With the NRL outstripping the AFL for the first time last year on money held, betting agencies have jumped on board seeking NRL affiliations. Sportingbet recently paid a sizeable sum to be on the back of the Broncos jumper - much to the chagrin of some of the club's notable ex-players.

Apparently a punter can wager on 25 different options in an NRL match, even the result of the second half. And it's this live betting - after the game has kicked off - that agencies say will attract the big bucks in 2010, and no doubt some debate.

Last season an investigation was held in to the final-round clash between the Cowboys and the Roosters, won 32-16 by the Cowboys after they were down 16-nil at halftime. If punters are able to bet on the result of the second half of a game - during the game - who can blame the sceptics when a result like that eventuates.

As I said, call me a wowser, but I have been around long enough to know that with this type of money comes temptation. And we all know that rugby league players do not need a gilt-edged invitation to find trouble.

SONNY Bill Williams was obviously a confused young man when he snuck out on his five-year deal with the Bulldogs back in July of 2008.

Now - if we can believe what we read and hear - nothing has changed.

Word is that SBW wants to return to the Southern Hemisphere in May, when his rugby contract in France is finished. And speculation is that he wants to either play for the All Blacks in next year's World Cup or return to rugby league with the Warriors.

In fairness, Williams has not been quoted. And nor has his manager. …

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