The honesty services of the Australian wing of the giant betting exchange Betfair are again being used by a major sports body, this time the National Rugby League in Australia. Betfair uses its sophisticated tracking and monitoring capabilities to flag any suspicious betting patterns in the interests of curtailing corruption in sports, and has in the past interacted with many international sports bodies.
In the current enquiry, the NRL has begun an investigation into a large bet on April 13 that team Melbourne Storm would take the 2010 wooden spoon. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that that was the same day Melbourne Storm chairman Rod Moodie alleges the board learned of the extent of the club's salary cap rorting (to cheat, rip-off, beat, defraud, hack or scam something.)
"The timing of the bet raises serious questions about who knew what, and when they knew it," the newspaper opined.
As part of the investigation, the NRL has contacted other Australian betting agencies requesting they supply it with information surrounding all spoon betting.
NRL CEO David Gallop was reportedly shocked when told by The Sun-Herald newspaper that a A$35 bet (at odds of 300-1) had been placed on the Storm nine days before Thursday's announcement that the club was to lose 44 competition points for its salary cap irregularities.
''No, the NRL is not aware of that. That's something we will be asking questions about. The investigation and inquiries are not stopping yet so we'll be working around the clock,'' he said.
Betfair's Hugh Taggart told the SMH: ''We will be providing all of our market information and betting details to them (the NRL) over the weekend. That's information we would have at hand, so that will be with them as soon as possible. We have the personal information of all our customers who bet, because all of our betting is account-based. We can trace absolutely every brushstroke of the keyboard.
''All of those account numbers are linked to a credit card and a name, so we can provide named information.''
All betting agencies Downunder received documentation from the NRL notifying that no decision was made on the stripping of competition points from Melbourne Storm until 1pm last Thursday afternoon. The Sydney Morning Herald article reports that this suggests the April 13 bet was made by someone close to or involved with the Storm, who was knowledgeable enough to foresee the club being stripped of all possible 2010 competition points.
TAB Sportsbet reported that it took A$200 on Melbourne to finish with the spoon at 9.30pm on Wednesday, the night before the penalty was announced, while it received a further A$911 hours before the announcement Melbourne were to be stripped of all points.
Spokesman Glenn Munsie said A$15 was still unaccounted for and the agency would investigate when and where that bet was placed. It would pass on all information to the NRL.
Betfair is believed to have provided the first link to the issue, with the A$35 matched bet for Melbourne to win the spoon placed late afternoon on April 13 - the day the board of Melbourne Storm learned of the severity of the charges against the club of salary cap rorting.
Source: InfoPowa News