Tue, Feb 28, 2:00pm by Kevin Pitstock
THE operator of gambling websites that have been associated with four AFL clubs and three NRL clubs, Betezy, is in danger of losing its bookmaker’s licence after an investigation by NT gambling authorities.
Just a day after someone hacked their membership database and sent out thousands of “phishing” emails to its customer base, Betezy will be under scrutiny at an NT Licensing Commission hearing today for its operation of websites that have been run under licence from AFL sides the Bombers, Kangaroos, Port Power and the Adelaide Crows and NRL clubs the Newcastle Knights, Canterbury Bulldogs and Cronulla Sharks.
The commission, which has the power to cancel Betezy’s licence, will investigate whether its activities are authorised by the territory’s Racing and Betting Act and the conditions of its licence.
An NT Racing Commission investigation into Betezy is believed to have heard allegations the bookmaker has not paid some clubs the full amount owed under its contracts to operate the ”white label” websites.
Betezy director Ryan Kay could not be reached last night.
Allegations of underpayment have already been aired in the Federal Court by the Knights, who parted ways with Betezy last year and last week signed a two-year deal with rival NT bookmaker Sportsbet.
In a lawsuit filed in November, the Knights, owned by mining magnate Nathan Tinkler, alleged Betezy owed the club more than $200,000 in fees and a share of profits from the Knightsbet website.
When it signed the deal in 2009, the club hoped to earn up to $1 million a year, although chief executive Steve Burraston said he found it ”hard to imagine people gamble that much”.
It is believed the case was settled with a confidential payout to the club.
Allegations Betezy was late in paying the Kangaroos are believed to be part of the reason the club canned its deal with Betezy to run the Roosbet website in December.
A club spokesman said there had been a ”mutual termination” of the arrangement.
The Knightsbet, Roosbet, Crowsbet (Adelaide Crows) and sites appear to have been shut down, with attempts to get access to them yesterday redirected to the main Betezy website.
But an Essendon spokesman confirmed the club’s deal with Betezy continues, and the Bombersbet, Bulldogsbet (Canterbury Bulldogs), Sharksbet (Cronulla Sharks) and The Powerbet (Port Power) websites appeared to be working yesterday afternoon.
First signs of problems at Betezy surfaced in early November when the Tax Office asked the Federal Court to wind up the company over an unpaid $160,000 tax bill, which was subsequently paid.
Courtesy : Ben Butler, The Age
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