International Rugby Board in New Zealand came up with new regulations banning all rugby-related people from betting on sports.
New Zealand’s International Rugby Board has come up with a wide specter of heavy anti-corruption regulations, aiming to weed out match-fixing and other illicit activities. Betting on the sport is a popular pastime for citizens taking their money to both land-based and online sportsbooks in New Zealand.
International Rugby Board is very serious about following through with their new set of anti-corruption rules and regulations. The Board has already warned everyone that people found to be involved in match-fixing could receive a lifetime ban from connected activities. Rugby players, who will be caught placing a single bet on a game even in full compliance with New Zealand gambling laws, will be facing up to 1-year suspension.
Industry experts say they are regarding the new regulations from International Rugby Board more as preventive measures. Neil Sorensen, general manager of professional rugby at New Zealand Rugby Union, was quoted in New Zealand gambling news saying: “We haven’t heard of anyone betting illegally on rugby but we don’t want to risk it.”
He also added: “But the more global that rugby gets and the more there is live television coverage to places where illegal betting is massive, the risks do increase. So the more that people understand the risks, the better they are able to deal with it in the future.”
Sorensen also opined that although betting on rugby is big in New Zealand it is relatively small on the worldwide scale. Entire Super Rugby betting last year amounted to just over NZ$600 million. But when it comes to international rugby, a single day betting could go all the way up to NZ$6 million.
The essence of new regulations
International Rugby Board’s new regulations stipulate that all 2,000 something people working in professional and semi-professional rugby in the country will be barred from betting. Moreover, they will not be allowed to bet on sport wherever in the world they are. All of the involved people must sign a pledge to agree to the new regulations.
The International Rugby Board has even come up with a list of restricted people, dubbed “connected persons”. It includes administrators, agents, medical staff, as well as friends and family of players themselves.
New Zealand International Rugby Board goes against match-fixing
• New regulations include amendments to New Zealand gambling laws
• Players, family, staff, and anyone related to rugby will be banned from betting
• Involved parties will be asked to sign a pledge of compliance
Neil Sorensen went on to say: “Under the rules I’m banned from betting and I can’t ask my son to go and make a substantial bet for me based on what information I may have. The list does seem a bit over the top and we understand and hear that, but to be perfectly honest the IRB and New Zealand rugby aren’t really going to go after a grandmother putting $5 on her grandson to score a try.”
The executive revealed that the new restrictions are designed to prevent the information which can influence the outcome of a match from getting out into the public domain. This includes info on tactics, injuries, scouting, team selections, etc.
Players are also warned against using social media to share information, which can be regarded as breaching the regulations.
Sorensen added: “Sports betting is about knowing more than the average person on the street knows. Players using social media would not be in trouble. We don’t see that as being at the heart of potential corruption.”
“However if a player tweeted ‘look my ankle is dicky but I also understand that three guys in the forward pack might not start, keep to that to yourselves’ then you’re bordering on giving information that others don’t have.”
Sorensen also revealed that the New Zealand Rugby Union has already created an education campaign on the new regulations. The first stop was the visit to the Otago Highlanders last week, where the Union representatives have spoken to the players and staff.
The New Zealand Rugby Union, naturally, plans to visit the other four Super Rugby teams. Visits to the 14 semi-professional top-tier unions are also on the Union’s agenda. Sorensen said: “It is really the start of our educational campaign. We have begun telling the guys, look you can bet on anything you like as long as it’s not rugby.”