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13 May 2010

Australian Bookies Want AFL Footballers Learning Insider Trading, by Greg Tingle - 13th May 2010

As the evolution of the Aussie Rules football continues, on and off field scandals to boot, the players become more business and sports betting savvy. With their increase in informing gleaned in and around the football business comes both positives and negatives. In a month where sports betting scandals have plagued both codes of Australian football, AFL and NRL, come calls from some bookies to educate players all about "insider trading"! Media Man and Gambling911 get on the front foot and take the boot to the field...

Word on the footy paddock and street is that a well known bookmaker has encouraged the AFL and NRL powers that be to educate players and officials under guidelines the ASX (Australian Stock Exchange) employs when prosecuting insider trading. Well I never...

One may argue the merit of the idea, and wonder if its a totally genuine call, or just an attention seeking bookie looking for headlines.

Betstar chief Alan Eskander said recent events in sports betting had loopholes in the prosecution of people "leaking" from football clubs. "Taking is one term" that comes up frequently, which is related to teams holding back in an attempt to get the "wooden spoon" (loosing) from what we understand.

His betting outfit had received eight enquires asking for the odds on Melbourne Storm finishing last in the NRL before the salary cap scandals exploded in a very public matter, creating an international media frenzy, seeking bookies down a few hundred thousand bucks. Mr Eskander insists he is totally genuine in his recommendations.

"On the stock exchange the trading on the NRL would have been halted until the announcement was made," he said. "Instead leaks, well-placed leaks, turned the situation into a gambling nightmare.".

The opinionated bookie does highlight a curious situation...highlighting a footy match St Kilda VS Hawthorn last year when a number of St Kilda's top players were suddenly rested after winning their previous 14 matches! Comon, don't you want to win!

"This was a classic case of those in the inner sanctum at St Kilda leaking out information that was so sensitive and potentially so damaging," he said. "I know bookmakers have spies, but if they've gone to training at St Kilda they would have noticed nothing amiss.

"But hours later a decision turned the betting on the game on its head when these players were formally announced as non-starters.

"It would take legislation to adopt the protocols the Australian stockmarket has, but we should look at its structures and how it prosecutes insider trading. The AFL then should re-educate officials about the trouble leaks can cause."

In a twist of 'Underbelly' proportions, certainly in the underworld related spectrum, a few weeks ago at the Logies another curious situation arose. A gambling farce when all winners were heavily backed around Australia - including Gold Logie winner Ray Meagher who was backed from $2.70 into $1.36 - leaving question marks over the function's security. And readers, you wonder why the 'Underbelly' nominations went from red hot to stone cold, if you recall Gambling911's 'Underbelly Cops A Beating At Crown Casino Logies' and the article prior, join the dots, and you will smell a giant rat.

So punters and insiders... what do you reckon? Tell us in the forum, and in the meantime if you hear some top tips on sport, or even some casino gossip, write in and don't be shy. You don't have to reveal your sources automatically by law... not yet anyway. Comon' sports. Happy hunting and good punting.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company

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