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AFL betting scandal intensifies gambling deba -

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Independent Senator Nick Xenophon says the latest betting scandal engulfing the AFL is further
proof the league is too close to betting agencies. Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell and player
Heath Shaw have both been sanctioned over bets placed using inside information about the game.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: The latest betting scandal engulfing the AFL has intensified the debate over
sports betting and the AFL's relationship with betting agencies.

Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell and player Heath Shaw have both been sanctioned over wagers placed
using inside information about the game.

But bookmakers say the fact that the two players were caught shows that its partnership with the
AFL to uncover corrupt betting is working.

From Melbourne, Liz Hobday reports.

LIZ HOBDAY: Independent Senator and anti-gambling campaigner, Nick Xenophon says the AFL should
have seen it coming.

NICK XENOPHON: They have literally dropped the ball. The AFL has welcomed these gambling companies,
there sports betting agencies with their millions of dollars in sponsorships, their clubs have done
deals with them, you can't watch a footy game on TV without being bombarded with ads encouraging
you to gamble, telling you the odds, and the AFL should have known that this is the inevitable
consequence.

LIZ HOBDAY: Yesterday one of the Magpies' top players, Heath Shaw was suspended for a minimum of
eight matches and fined $20,000 for placing a bet using inside information.

Shaw knew that defender Nick Maxwell would start on the forward line in the round nine match
against Adelaide, and he and a friend put $20 on Maxwell to kick the first goal.

Maxwell himself was also fined a minimum of $5,000 for telling family members he was starting
forward because they then used this information to place bets.

Nick Xenophon says exotic bets, like the ones placed on Nick Maxwell, should be banned.

NICK XENOPHON: I think we are getting to a tipping point here where we need to tackle this
effectively before there is a scandal, a match fixing scandal, a betting scandal that will damage
irrevocably the integrity of the game.

LIZ HOBDAY: But the AFL says the fact that Shaw and Maxwell got caught shows it's regulating the
game effectively.

The AFL reached information sharing agreements with bookmakers almost two years ago, which meant it
could access betting data to look for irregular bets.

Neil Evans from Centrebet, which sponsors St Kilda, says the system is close to foolproof.

NEIL EVANS: Every single bet goes through a system, and we're talking about hundreds of thousands
of bets, they all go through a system and they are all recorded and the transaction history of all
clients and all that sort of thing is recorded as well. So, you know, it's pretty thorough, it's
pretty thorough. I don't think anything in the world is 100 per cent bulletproof, but this is
pretty close.

LIZ HOBDAY: And he says neither the AFL nor bookmakers scrutinise the data from every round.

NEIL EVANS: To be honest it's something that doesn't happen too often, it's just a pathway if and
when they require it. Now most times, most rounds are pretty clean, it goes through and the betting
activity happens and you don't hear a thing. It's only if something, you know, it gets to a stage
where something is worthwhile investigating.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Neil Evans from Centrebet ending that report by Liz Hobday.