Melbourne Storm Controversy and NRL Betting Implications

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Australian Rugby has been rocked by the biggest scandal ever with Melbourne Storm, the premier rugby league team stripped of two premeierships, 3 minor premierships and fined over $500000 while cheating on their salary cup for the last 5 years. If you havent heard the story yet see http://www.theage.com.au/rugby-league/league-news/melbourne-storm-stripped-of-everything-20100422-tfy6.html

The news has made headlines in Australia for the last two days since the scandal was exposed and the fallout for Melbourne Storm is getting worse with major sponsors leaving the club after the story broke.

Betting on the NRL Wooden Spoon has been suspended after a string of bets were taken on the Melbourne Storm at $251 with Sportingbet Australia yesterday morning before the scandal was exposed. Sportingbet Australia CEO Michael Sullivan said the move set off alarm bells as the Storm are favourites for the Premiership and look no hope of winning the Spoon.

“We took three bets to win $10,000 and another to win $8000 on the Storm for the Wooden Spoon all within 10 minutes of each other this morning,” Sullivan said.

“You don’t take a series of bets like that unless someone knows something or think they know something and we have suspended betting on the Wooden Spoon as a result.

“Sportingbet Australia CEO Michael Sullivan said this would change the way Wooden Spoon betting would be done in the future.

“Melbourne has gone from $251 to no betting in the space of six hours which has to be the biggest shortener in betting history,” Sullivan said.

“We will look at the way we bet on the Wooden Spoon in the future as punters and bookmakers alike are betting without all the information.”

“We have refunded all Premiership bets on Melbourne as they are now out of calculations.”

Sullivan said the decision had an enormous impact on betting going forward in 2010 as well.

“This has consequences on match betting throughought the year, as what motivation do the Storm have if they can’t finish anywhere but last,” he said.

“We have suspended all markets on Melbourne’s game this weekend’s with the Warriors.

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