At long last a couple of NRL clubs have come up with a strategy to ring fence the game from the damage the economic downturn is inevitably going to cause - and at least theirs is a better strategy than the nonsense that emanated from the NRL over the weekend!
The Sharks and the Knights believe that the citizenry are going to be very happy to punt their way out of the economic storm judging by their decision to enter into agreements with on line betting agency, Ezybet (according to the Daily Telegraph) but I suspect it is with Betezy which has an agreement with the Gold Coast Titans that has been up and running since last year.
If it is Betezy, then the operation is a fully licensed on line betting agency, operating out of the Northern Territory and approved by the NT Government. Betezy takes wagers on horse racing, the trots and the dogs as well as just about every sport with the exception of marbles!
It would seem that fans sign up with their favourite club - provided it is in an agreement with Betezy - and that the club gets a return from what is invested by fans. Time will tell what the return is, but it may well be the difference between survival and collapse for some clubs. That will depend on how many club members/supporters join up - and how much they punt!
The NRL will review the Sharks and Knights proposals, but given that the Titans agreement has been approved, it is hardly likely to reject them.
And in fact it is really in no position to do so because the NRL has its own agreement with TAB Sportsbet.
The involvement of more and more clubs with betting agencies is going to attract the attention of the anti-gambling lobby. Comments such as