Thu, Jul 17, 6:11pm by Dominic Ciconte
MATTHEW Tripp, the CEO of BetEasy and co-owner of Melbourne Storm, has exposed a flaw in the NRL’s betting rules.
Tripp has imposed a ban on himself from betting on the NRL, even though he is allowed to under League guidelines.
Tripp’s admission to The Age came following the controversy surrounding the suspensions handed to five NRL players, including Manly star David Williams, for betting on NRL matches.
Players and officials are strictly forbidden from gambling on the NRL, but strangely enough, club owners like Tripp are allowed to gamble on the code at their own leisure.
As co-owner of Melbourne Storm, Tripp could easily gather inside information on player availability, selection and tactics and use it to his advantage. But, the boss of BetEasy declared he would never do that and encouraged the NRL to change its rules to also exclude owners from NRL betting.
“I’ve taken it upon myself to treat my position as an official and part of the club,” Tripp said.
“On the back of that I don’t bet on rugby league and I certainly don’t participate on Storm games. It’s a hard enough ride just watching them let alone backing them as well.”
The question was asked of Tripp – even though he doesn’t bet personally, isn’t he effectively betting on the Storm every time BetEasy opens a market on the NRL?
He replied, “I have no input into rugby league, that’s done by our rugby league manager.”
“Because we have so many sports and so many markets, I’ve made a point of saying to our guys to leave me out of the rugby league side of things because it could be seen as a conflict. I don’t want to thrust the club into the limelight for all the wrong reasons, so I don’t participate in anything along those lines.
“My only participation with the club is educational in relation to gambling and sitting there as a director to help with the financial side of it.”
Despite being on of Australia’s true pioneers in the online bookmaking industry, Tripp is using his experience to convince his players to stay away from businesses like his.
“I know that sounds ridiculous coming from a corporate bookie but at the same time I’ve seen what it can do to people and footballers over the years,” he said.
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