BUSINESS

Online gambling syndicate recruits athletes, under investigation

TAGs: Australia, Australian Football League, Proton Trading Fund

online-gambling-syndicate-tries-to-recruit-athletes-under-investigationThe Sydney-based Proton Trading Fund (PTF) sports betting syndicate has been allegedly recruiting athletes to join the scheme.

The trading fund’s @pro.punter account claimed on Instagram to have a $10 million pool to bet on the Australian Football League (AFL), cricket, and horse racing on local Betfair exchanges and international markets.

According to the Herald Sun, PTF has also indicated in their flyers, advertised through its social media account and email, that their elite spots members are able to invest in the scheme without breaching their leagues’ gambling policy code and sought investments of up to $250,000 with a $10m cap.

“Professional athletes (including jockeys) are able to ­invest in PTF with no issues at all. 100% good to go. As you are not the ones placing the investments, or giving advice as to what we are to invest on, or how we should be investing, your participation in our fund will not breach your code’s gambling policy in any way, shape or form,” the flyer stated.

AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan told Australia’s radio journalist Neil Mitchell that he hasn’t heard of it but will get at the bottom of the scheme while Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Minister Jane Garrett has ordered an urgent investigation with the findings to be shared with the AFL.

“I’m concerned about the conduct of this business and that’s why I’ve demanded a full investigation into any possible breaches,” Garrett said. “We have strict regulations around betting and sporting codes, and it’s important that the community has confidence in the integrity of our sport.”

The @pro.punter account has been deactivated and new membership now requires a referral from an existing member and a minimum of $5000 deposit.

A PTF spokesman, who refused to give her name, defended the fund’s legitimacy, calling it a sports and arbitrage scheme.

“Any professional athlete involved with us are our personal friends of friends of friends. No professional athlete has their personal investment traded on the sport or code they are directly involved with,” the spokesman said.

PTF’s Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) documents list two Sydney addresses as its base: one in Sydney Harbour, which does not exist, and in Slurry Hills, an address for a closed restaurant.

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