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(generated from captions) Thanks for your company. Good evening. First tonight, gambling club inside the incredible secret university student. formed by an Australian genius mates, Together with some maths and casinos around the world, they have plundered bookmakers betting a billion dollars a year.

Now the tax office is after them but as David Richardson reports, they have an unusual ally a $900 million tax bill. in the fight over It is an amazing story. Look, there's absolutely no doubt the most successful syndicates these guys have been one of in the history of gambling. There's no doubt about that.

Aussie punters club They're the ultra-secret and gaming tables around the world. that's plundered racetracks all mathematical geniuses, A group of mates, of a tax probe But they're now the target and amateur gambler in this country. that threatens every punter like in most works, right? It's coming in at 4:1, of the gang. David Walsh is the unofficial leader An art collector, philanthropist -

of this gamblers' club. the most visible member another member of the club. Poker player George Mamacas, another poker champion. South Australian David Steicke, Ray Gatt Barossa winemaker and punter, Zeljko Ranogajec, and the biggest punter of them all, 'The Loch Ness Monster', the man they call himself. who gambles $1 billion a year

Just five members of the club. making tens of millions a year. There are 14 others I think it's pretty safe to say, Their total turnover, is in the billions of dollars. is Tasmania's best-kept secret. The gambler's club It began here, maths department, at The University of Tasmania got together when three maths whizzes to make some easy money. to use their skill with numbers

to Wrest Point Casino. From the University of Tasmania Almost 40 years ago, in the country this was the only casino and it was here of the ultra-secret gamblers club the original three members first cut their teeth, for just a few dollars. playing recreational games like keno original three members met the man But it was also here the the biggest member of their club who would become

in the world. and one of the biggest punters of blackjack, keno and horses. another maths genius with a love Their success was phenomenal. they played with small amounts, Being students, picking winning combinations at keno and counting cards at blackjack,

a legal but discouraged practice. to play the World Series, Every summer I come over here which is absolutely fabulous. Fellow Tasmanian punter Andrew Scott of the secret gamblers club has known the members for more than 20 years. around the world today He plays poker against them and knows their tricks. allowing them to play blackjack, When the casino stopped they got into horse racing they extended those principles. and at the end of the day,

for good value bets. So they're looking and placed bets on horses, They met at this North Hobart pub betting more and more, with every success adding more members to their club. But it just grew organically more and more and more and they just bet Luck and persistence. in 1994, Zeljko won a record $7.5 million

after spending six days in this room playing keno at this Sydney RSL and working out the numbers. placing bets Since then, gambler on the planet. he's become the single biggest He bets $1 billion a year, is rarely seen. but the Loch Ness Monster of the world he plunders. He doesn't grace the racetracks lead a quiet life He and his wife Shelley Wilson away from the spotlight.

One Hyde Park in London, They now live here - in the world. the most prestigious address set you back more than $10 million, A 1-bedroom apartment here will punts mostly online - But from here, the Loch Ness Monster rebates for his gambling dollar. tote agencies offering him massive and a team of unknowns. We have a very low profile

and his poker mate David Steicke George Mamacas on the world poker stage are regulars has become well-known and David Walsh for his $200 million creation, or MONA. the Museum of New and Old Art, at a cost of more than $70 million Built just outside Hobart in art and books. it contains $100 million biggest tourist attraction, In a year, it has become Tasmania's

from the gamblers club. financed by some profits would have remained top secret The Tasmanian gamblers club the Australian Tax Office. if it wasn't for are tax-exempt, Normally the winnings from gambling is more a business than a hobby but the ATO believes this club $900 million in unpaid taxes. and is now demanding of this club out into the open. That was enough to bring the members

There's more than a whiff of the ATO high-wealth individual, going after a high-profile, in recent years, not unlike the Paul Hogan case might be treating him unfairly. so I do think the ATO support from a most unlikely place The gamblers club has received in its fight with the ATO -

Independent MP Andrew Wilke, poker machine betting, the man who wants to limit and his mates. but is fighting for David Walsh I'm not anti-gambling. support of is a fair go for people What I am also passionately in someone is being treated unfairly, and if there is evidence that to step in and speak up. then there is a role for me on four separate occasions, You know, the ATO,

it was not taxable told this particular group and changing their mind. and now they're going back And that's what's at stake. on the punters club Many believe the attack winnings, even lotto wins, could lead to taxes on gambling across the country. affecting tens of millions what the ATO's intentions are here. No-one knows

successful professional gamblers, a very small number of very or do they intend to extend it to all professional gamblers? Where do they intend to draw the line between professional and recreational gambling? The Tax Office claims the gamblers club has destroyed vital tax evidence and its gambling records. Now an audit of the successful secret club is heading to court. Every punter in the country anxiously waiting for the result,

but few are willing to bet against the world's best gambling club. Where do you draw the line? Is anyone who is a bit ahead each year, are they to be deemed a professional gambler? You know, the ruling against David Walsh and his colleagues could perhaps turn the taxation treatment of professional gamblers on its head.

It's an interesting question and will no doubt be raised when the ATO takes the case to the Federal Court next month. Now to the growing problem of sleep disorders