Australia’s rugby empire is led by the National Rugby League aka the NRL and this organization has often been plagued in the past with accusations of match-fixing. These claims have become even more predominant with its recent collaboration with the online bookie Sportsbet. Todd Greenberg, the chief executive of the National Rugby League, has just released a recent blurb in defense of this partnership which claims that the best way to protect the integrity of rugby is, in fact, to cooperating with the betting industry giants such as the aforementioned Sportsbet.
All of the drama is centered around a $46 million (AUS $60 million) that was officially signed in 2016. That deal gives Sportsbet the key spot in the rugby gaming industry with a percentage of the turnover be ushered into the coffers of the NRL itself. Todd Greenberg continues to stand by his claims of life bans for anyone caught tampering with the game in order to fix matches or otherwise gamble outside of league regulations. As with any sport, fans need to feel that what they are watching is fair so that they can feel free to support their favorites as well as bet on outcomes.
He goes on to say that it is a delicate balance that he felt was best served by the NRL and Sportsbet collaboration. This will allow fans, who are likely going to bet of ruby in some type of manner either way, to put down their hard-earned money with confidence that the results are fair and that any winnings will be issued appropriately. It is in fact, a deal that is likely to bring more fans into the hemisphere of rugby now that the have fresh incentives to follow the action.
Greenberg stands by the league’s decision despite opposition from the likes of Crownbet who argue that it would have been better to keep the profits within Australia by using the local operator. A host of factors went into the decision such as brand marketing, responsible gaming, and promotional and digital benefits.
The end goal is to keep everything fair and to prevent scandals such as the one which tarnished Tim Simona’s rugby career. That player was found to be backing opposition players so that they would be the first try-scorer in his games in order that he would get a piece of the profits from the known outcome. Simona would then delay his early action in order to allow the other team to get the benefit. At 24-years old, there is quite a divide in Australia as to whether a life ban is appropriate, particularly since the size of the bets has not been released and may not even be fully known. Strike Force Nuralda is looking to keep the game fair by investigating sports betting on rugby and this will surely include the latest Sportsbet marketplace. Rugby will continue to delight fans worldwide and organizations will continue to try and maintain the integrity through such swift action as has recently been displayed.