Gold Coast Titans join venture deal with sports betting agency By Steve Mascord | October 01, 2008 http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegrap...006066,00.html THE NRL is under increased pressure to set up its own betting agency after Gold Coast yesterday announced a bookmaking joint venture expected to net up to $3 million for the Titans in three years. Club chief executive Michael Searle said after unveiling a deal with Betezy that online betting could soon completely compensate for the loss of leagues club funding at many clubs. While TAB Sportsbet gives around 5 per cent of proceeds on league betting to the NRL, the Titans will get half of profits from the website. And the club will next year set up new protocols for disclosing injuries, team changes and events at training in line with other sports with betting disclosure laws. Because the Betezy logo will not appear on Titans jumpers, the NRL could not use its deal with SportsTAB to block the arrangement. Grant Mayer, chief executive of grand finalists Manly, said his club was on the verge of establishing a similar site with Betchoice, whose sponsorship offer was vetoed by the NRL. With the TAB sponsorship of the NRL having just one year to run, some clubs believe the League should cash on betting by either running its own agency or entering into a similar joint venture. "We'd like to talk to the NRL about doing something," Betezy general manager Ryan Kay said. "I know the TAB doesn't give a lot back to the NRL. I think they give 5 per cent. "We're doing a real joint venture. I know the clubs are hurting. I know in NSW the pokie taxes have increased, there are issues with the smoking now and club funding." Searle said of the NRL running its own agency: "It's up to the league, where they take it. I think we all agree you can't be half pregnant. We're involved in sport, there's gambling on sport. Well the game should derive strong revenue from it." Comments from Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy last Friday about betting on the judiciary have brought the issue into sharp focus. NRL chief executives have raised the idea of the League having its own agency at several meetings. "I raised the potential for this type of (joint venture) relationship at the conference we had a couple of months ago," said Searle. "The league have an arrangement with TAB. That's a sponsorship arrangement. We took a different view. "The revenue we will get out of this, providing it's well promoted, is substantial. It's up there with what leagues clubs provide. Sneaky late team changes could be a thing of the past for Titans coach John Cartwright as a result of the deal. "We have to be beyond reproach," he said. "Carty and I are going to the States, that's one of the things we'll look at when we're over there, that disclosure. "There's a movement away from poker machines to sports betting."