It is known that David “Wolfman” Williams enjoys multi-bets but now the winger was banned for wagering on rugby games.
A winger playing for the Manly Rugby Union Football Club, David Williams is known to have placed a few bets here and there, including on German Bundesliga football team Verein für Leibesübungen Wolfsburg. But now the rugby player is under investigation for breaking the rules and placing multiple bets on National Rugby League (NRL) matches too.
Seven players were banned for the next two to six matches for mixing their passion for sports betting with their professional careers and Williams was one of them. He was banned for six weeks for allegedly using a mobile betting app to place multi-bets on AFL, soccer and rugby league matches.
Investigated for $5 bets
The Australian media has revealed that several rugby players are currently under investigation after placing illegal bet on sports in Australia. Many of them are rookies and have not had the chance to play much in the professional league yet.
The newspapers mentioned that the list includes names from teams like Melbourne, North Queensland and Gold Coast, with at least one club having to suspend more than one player. Rumor has it two other regular first-graders will soon be put under investigation.
In most cases, wagers were small. Most of the players accused of breaking the rules have only placed $5 bets, sometimes even lower, and there is no proof that they were involved in a bigger match fixing scheme.
One of the high-profile players will probably not be outed, as he really only wagered a small amount of money. Some league officials are also said to be on the list.
Investigators found 25 rule violations
The NRL integrity unit found 25 rule violations and most of them appear to involve players in last year’s National Youth under 20s competition. The list includes a few players who are no longer in the NRL. Seven players are currently banned from participating in matches, while at the same time being investigated.
The players were caught during an audit of Australia’s Totalisator Agency Board, as well as additional betting agency records. Wagers were placed under their own names, which means players had to use their passports of drivers’ licenses as identification.
As soon as the NRL finalizes its investigations, an detailed announcement will be made. Players have already been advised of the allegations. Officials didn’t intend to make Williams’ name public. His club and his agent both refused to confirm his involvement in the betting case.
The former New South Wales and Australian winger has been in poor shape lately, which is why he spent most of the rugby season languishing in the NSW Cup.
Rugby betting scandal unfolding
When rumors saying a famous Storm player is also facing suspension for placing a $20 wager on an NRL match, coach Craig Bellamy said he had no knowledge of this and threatened to walk out of a press conference if questions continued. He added that it was “quite foolish” for a player to get caught gambling on a rugby match.
“From the rumors I’m hearing there doesn’t seem to be much damage done from the size of the bets but I don’t know how many times a year players and staff and coaches are told you can’t bet on rugby league games,” Bellamy told reporters.
“It seems silly to me. I’ve got no idea why it has been happening – they all know. We know from other walks of life that gambling can be an illness so that might be an issue for the NRL. Anyone who has a bet after this has rocks in his head,” he added.
Educational film to teach players a lesson
Even though bets were small and there is no evidence of spot or match-fixing, the NRL is not willing to let this one slide. Since ending the agreement with Tabcorp in 2012, the league hasn’t had an official betting partner and it is believed it wants to send a message to all players and NRL officials, that breaking the rules will not be tolerated.
Furthermore, the rugby organization has taken the unprecedented step of contributing to the making of an educational movie. Titled “Broke”, the feature film will be partially funded by the NRL.
Actors Claire van der Boom, Steve Le Marquand and Steve Bastoni will be the starts of the Australian production, which deals with issues such as gambling addiction. All profits will be donated to the Men of League foundation.