The Victorian gambling regulator has today put out a statement which says that the media stories earlier this year about Melbourne tanking provided no new information and the decision it made in 2009 still stands. The Herald Sun has whipped it up (paywall, so see below) by getting a comment from the State Opposition Leader (himself a former Gaming Minister) who has complained about the regulator's decision.
Some stories should be left to die, but this one has some form of zombie appeal to the Herald Sun. Here's a summary of the Herald Sun beat up:
(Mods, please merge with an appropriate tanking thread if necessary)
The state Opposition says the gambling watchdog’s “nothing to see here” verdict on the Melbourne tanking scandal “beggars belief”.
The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation this morning said it will be taking “no further action” against the AFL over the Demons saga.
Five months after announcing a fresh inquiry into the affair, the VCGLR said it had determined that the league had not breached its obligations as a sports controlling body.
A statement released by the VCGLR refers to the AFL’s actions in notifying it of a potential problem in 2009, but not the confessions given by club officials to the league integrity unit in late 2012.
Liberal leader Michael O’Brien told the Herald Sun this morning: “There is a real question whether the VCGLR is doing its job when it comes to regulating sports betting.
“No sporting code can simply regulate itself when it comes to gambling integrity.
“Footy fans will be wondering, how can alleged tanking by football clubs be ignored by the gambling regulator?
“The ‘nothing to see here’ response of the gambling regulator beggars belief.”
The VCGLR’s handling of this matter does nothing for public confidence in the regulator or in the integrity of sports betting in this state, he added.
Today’s VCGLR decision follows the Herald Sun’s publication of 80 pages of secret tanking transcripts in April.
The documents exposed how multiple Melbourne Football Club officials confessed to a conspiracy to lose matches during the 2009 season.
In a previously undisclosed admission, then Demons coach Dean Bailey told AFL investigators: “What was said to me was, if I win games I would get sacked. I was threatened. I didn’t like it.
“I think it was a terrible thing to be bullying and harassing not only me but the rest of the staff. Absolutely, I knew if we won those games, I felt that I would get sacked.”
But VCGLR director of compliance Adam Ockwell said this morning: “The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation has completed its review of media reports regarding the AFL and the Melbourne Football Club that were published in April this year.
“The VCGLR found that the information and evidence published by the media formed part of its original investigation in 2009 which determined that the AFL had not breached its obligations as a sports controlling body.
“As no breaches of Victorian legislation were identified, the VCGLR will be taking no further action.
“In accordance with the Gambling Regulation Act 2003, the AFL as a Sports Controlling Body is required to notify the VCGLR in writing if it becomes aware of a breach or suspected breach of its policies, rules, codes of conduct or other mechanisms designed to ensure the integrity of the relevant sports betting event, as soon as practicable and in any event within 14 days of the breach or suspected breach.
“The VCGLR is committed to ensuring the integrity of betting on sports events.”
The Herald Sun report in April revealed for the first time that eight Demons football staff admitted they had been directed not to win more than four games; that players not seriously injured were kept off the ground during matches to stymie interchange rotations; and that the AFL’s investigators were provided with reports detailing “fake injuries” used to rule players out of team selection.
After winning just four games in 2009, the Dees secured the first two picks in the national draft, selecting Tom Scully and Jack Trengove.
The AFL announced the findings of its “tanking” probe in February 2013, declaring that Melbourne had not deliberately set out to lose games.
The AFL’s then-deputy chief executive, Gillon McLachlan, stated: “I actually don’t know what the definition of tanking is. In the AFL rules, it talks to performing on merits and the best of their ability. In my view, there was no tanking on match day