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AFL hands down fines for illegal gambling

1 March 2007

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Australian: "The AFL has vowed to do 'everything in its power' to detect and punish players who gamble on football matches and warned that any future breaches of its anti-gambling rules will trigger automatic suspension.

"…Confronted with the first examples of players who had flouted the AFL's anti-gambling code framed after the Shane Warne-Mark Waugh bookie scandal, the league resisted the temptation to suspend the players, settling for mandatory counselling sessions and a sliding scale of financial penalties according to the size and number of bets placed, and earnings of the players.

"The most severe penalty was handed to Adelaide midfielder Simon Goodwin, who was discovered by UK agency Betfair to have placed four bets connected to football games totally $16,024.58. One of those bets was pound stg. 2000 (about $4600) on the West Coast Eagles to win last year's grand final.

"Goodwin was fined $40,000, $20,000, of which was suspended.

"…Next in line was Melbourne's Daniel Ward, another problem gambler who placed 18 multi-bets totalling $3705 which all involved a football match.

"…Ward was fined $5000, with a further $5000 suspended and ordered to attend counselling 'for as long as deemed appropriate by the counsellor and the player in consultation with the Melbourne Football Club and the AFL'.

"…The AFL investigation was triggered by Betfair, which entered into a contractual arrangement with the league in 2005 giving the AFL a share of its revenue and access to betting records…"

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