Too much pressure on trainers and jockeys: Steve McMahon is concerned about in-the-run betting. Photo: Chris LaneA Federal Government review of online gambling has heard jockeys and trainers are concerned about the heightened integrity risks posed by after-the-jump betting as the role of in-play wagering in both sport and racing continues to come under the microscope.
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The NSW Trainers’ Association has tabled a submission to the inquiry into the antiquated Interactive Gambling Act claiming its members – as well as jockeys – had voiced concerns about the scope for criticism from in-the-run bettors.

It has been used to complement recommendations from some of the country’s top racing administrators who are wary of the integrity risk of betting during a race and the explosion of in-play wagering on heavily promoted sporting markets.

In-play betting on racing is currently considered legal.

Betting exchange Betfair has long cornered the local market allowing punters to match bets after the jump, but larger Australian corporate bookmakers such as British-owned Sportsbet and William Hill have begun to dabble in taking wagers after a race has begun.

It has prompted the NSW Trainers’ Association to write to the inquiry about fears “jockeys and trainers are under enough pressure as it is without having to deal with accusations brought about by ‘live in the run betting’ “.

“I think it just adds another element we don’t need and just poses another question over the heads of participants that is not needed,” outgoing NSW Trainers’ Association chief executive Steve McMahon said.

“There is already enough pressure on trainers and jockeys to perform as it is. When betting on the run becomes more and more prevalent it’s just another aspect of integrity you have to worry about.

“By not having it it just takes away another aspect of doubt that is passed on a trainer and jockey.”

Worldwide sports integrity officials are on red alert after recent claims that a core group of 16 players – all of whom have been ranked in the top 50 – were regularly referred to tennis governing bodies about match-fixing concerns.

Cricket authorities are also grappling with match-fixing and spot-fixing allegations as bookmakers seek to increase their ability to offer in-play betting on sporting contests that can run for several hours.

Racing’s notoriously quick nature means the opportunities for in-play betting are far less, but William Hill promoted an in-the-run service on selected races during the Melbourne spring carnival last year.

Its customers were allowed to back a runner at its fixed odds price for up to 20 to 30 seconds after a race had begun.

It’s understood executives were happy with the uptake of the service, but it is unclear whether it will return for the Sydney autumn carnival.

Sportsbet has also trialled the service with a cut-off on bets shortly after the jump.

The Australian Media and Communications Authority has asked the Australian Federal Police to review the legality of online in-play betting on sports, with some bookmakers exploiting what they say are loopholes in the law to allow wagering through smartphones.

Laws currently state that bets can only be taken over the phone or in person after a sporting event has begun.

The Federal Government is expected to rule on the controversial service’s legality in coming months.

The trainers’ submission to the IGA review also says racing will leak scores of punters to sports betting if the in-play betting laws are relaxed, in turn having the potential to cost thousands of jobs.

“The funding issue [for the racing industry] is that the more live betting there is on sport means the punting dollar will only go so far,” McMahon said. “It’s a lot easier to be live betting on a 90-minute soccer game than it is on a 90-second horse race.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

TOBYPrice was due at a friend’s buck’s party on Friday night, but life is not quite that simple when you are Dakar Rally champion.
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IN DEMAND: Dakar Rally winner Toby Price. Picture: Getty Images

The off-road motorcycle star flew into Sydney airport yesterday afternoon, 10 days after holding up the Dakar trophy in Argentina, and into the arms of his proud parents, John and Pauline.

He hadspent the intervening week and a half in South America conducting media interviewsand in California thanking sponsors, but any chanceof returning to a normal life in Australia ended when he rode across that finish line in Rosario.

He will stay in Sydney on Thursday hosting more media inquiries,spend Friday in the Hunter then fly out on Saturday for Austria, where bike maker KTM is based.

“There’s plenty of stuff happening,” he told theHerald, with characteristic understatement, soon after touching down at Mascot.

“My plans got changed really quickly. Unfortunately I’m going to have to let one of my mates down and say we can’t make it to your buck’s, but we’ve just got to make sure we make the wedding.”

Price will attend a dinner in Austria with KTM bosses from around the world to honour him as the first Australian to win a Dakar division and the first rider to do so at their second attempt.

The Maitland rider finished a remarkable third on debut last year with a non-factory KTM team.

“They all want to celebrate the result we’ve got, because it’s something pretty special,” Price said.“It’s something that’s happened in my second year, and that doesn’t happen very often.

“It’s still sinking in. But it’s been amazing. To rock up there at the airport and there were about 50-odd people there to welcome us home. The support’s been overwhelming.It’s a dream come true. I’m stoked that all this hard work that I’ve been putting in, it’s all paid off.”

Price joins a list of global stars, including MotoGP champion Casey Stoner and supercross rider Chad Reed, who cut their teeth on the dirt tracks of the Hunter coalfields.

The former junior motocross and supercrosschampion hopes to get together with family,friends and sponsors during his brief stay in the Hunter.

“It would be amazing to see everyone and have this Dakar trophy and this part of the history of the Dakar. A lot of people haven’t held one of these trophies.

“Nobody in Australia’s held one, so I think everyone’s keen to grab a hold of it and see what it’s like.”

Asked whether he had noticed a change in the way people treated him since his Dakar triumph, Price said:“I hope that it doesn’t, because at the end of the day I’m just me.

“It’s an amazing race that I’ve won, but it doesn’t really change who I am or change my life, really.

“I’m still more determined to go back and keep winning this race now. But it’s definitely going to open some doors to some other opportunities.

“Hopefully I can have some fun while it lasts, because unfortunately racing dirt bikes it doesn’t last forever and you’ve got to grab it while you can.”

Price has taken over the mantle of Dakar star from Spaniard Marc Coma and Frenchman Cyril Despres, KTM riderswho had won every Dakar since 2005 between them.

Both have now retired from riding, and Price hopes to start his own dynasty.

“That’s always been the goal. The goal at the start was to win one, and we’ve done that. Now we’ve just got to keep picking it off, and if we end up with only one in the next 10 years, I’m still going to be pumped. I’m still going to have my name on that list and in the record books.

“The record of being the first Australian to do it is never going to be taken away from me.

“We’re going to have a big target on our back next year, that’s for sure. It never comes easy, so we’ll just do the best we can.”

Price will continue to live in Australia,but how much time he spends here will be limited by testing, training and competing in rallies throughout the world.

He will spend several months in Spain training and helping to develop a new bike, but he hopes to return for the prestigious Finke two-day desert race at Alice Springs in June.

“Australia is always home, and I love being here. As soon as I landed back in Sydney, it was a good thing to walk off that plane and be back on Aussie soil.

“It’s now going to be a lot busier than I ever thought. I thought I was busy before, but it’s now going to go through the roof.”

CAPTIVE AUDIENCE: About 100 residents turned out for the community forum to discuss the proposed council merger. Picture: Sam NorrisBEYOND the emotion of the proposed Port Stephens and Newcastle council merger lies a political challenge.
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“It’s critical that we convince the Minister for Local Government [Paul Toole] and the Premier [Mike Baird] that it’s not in our interests,” Port Stephens MP Kate Washington told disgruntled residents.

“But we also have to convince them in a political way that it’s not in their interests either.”

About 100 people turned out for the community forum on Wednesday night.

Ms Washingtonoutlined the need for people to make submissions to the merger delegate Ian Reynolds.

“If you oppose the merger you have to be active in the process outlined by government,” Ms Washington said.

“But for an effective submission it should address one or more of the criteria.

“What we as residents can really speak to is the different identities we have geographically and even spiritually.

“We can talk about how the rate rise isinequitable and [Port Stephens] council’s research will inform that.”

Councillors Geoff Dingle, Chris Doohan and Peter Kafer spoke at the meeting.

“We can’t get enough people to write submissions,” Cr Kafer said.

“Please don’t rely on your neighbours to do it.”

The meeting threatened to unravel along political lines.

Cr Dingle said it was unhelpful to talk about the review process as a fight.

“It will do more harm than good,” he said.

“I’d rather be on the inside of the tent rather than left out.”

But the deputy mayor Cr Doohan begged to differ.

“If they want a fight that’s what I’ll give them,” he said.

Port Stephens was classified fit for the future prior toDecember when the proposal was announced.

Cr John Nell said Port Stephens Council should have proposed a different merger, preferablywith Great Lakes, back in November.

“We received a letter that told council to put in their preferred bid,” he said.

“I think in many ways we were led like lemmings to the slaughter.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

TOUGH TIME: Fans of the Newcastle Jets need to understand the challenges the club is facing, writes reader Grant Conway.
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TO all the local football experts who dissect every Jets game and vary their opinions on why we played the way we did, usually blaming the coach and players alternately–I wonder if theyunderstand how hard it is for the staff and players operating on a bargain-basement budget.

TheFFA hasa lot to answer for.

They will tell us the area is important to the big picture of the A-Leagueand football in general, but they seem happy to let us just keep plodding along, keeping us in the dark onpotential buyers and limiting our budget to enter the player market.

Has anyone heard DavidGallop speak about his vision or plan for the Jets?

Let’s be patient, hopefully a buyer is not faraway and players, staff and supporters can have a clear vision on moving forward.

Grant Conway,LambtonGive the kids a goSCOTTMiller, it’s time tomake some decisions for the team, not for under-performingindividuals.

Tell me and the rest of Newcastle whya limping Leonardo gets game time whenwe have these talented juniors such as Lundy, Cooper, Crowley and Pavicevic on the bench,denied the chance toplay in the youth team.

Putthese kids on for the rest of the season and watch them shine. Stop usinginjuredplayers who wouldn’t get a run in my over-35s team at Bero.

Allan Robinson,WarabrookShort and sweetI WOULD like to comment on the Herald Short Story competition which has beenrunning for the last couple of weeks.

Reading the stories has demoted thecrosswords into second position on my “must do” early morning tasks.

I would like to congratulate all the finalists in the competition -you all deserveto win. All the stories have an uplifting touch to them, whether they are sad orhumorous.

Well done all of you. You are all winners in my eyes.

Audrey Mayo,WallsendNot the time or placeI HADthe privilege of attending the Port Stephens citizenship ceremony on Australia Day at FlyPoint.

It was a well-organised, well-chaired ceremony as part of the broader celebrations of the day. What was disappointing and embarrassing was the way in which Port Stephens Mayor Bruce Mackenzie used his address as an opportunity to push his barrow about councilamalgamation, exhorting peoplenot to “bloody well”leave without havingsigned petitions at the named tent.

Totally inappropriate. What a poor example Mr Mackenzie set.New citizens, please stay. There are some wonderful people heading up councils all over thecountry.

Gail Crawford,MayfieldRubbishing our cityON New Year’s Day, and again the day after Australia Day,I walked outto Nobbys breakwall, the latter occasion withmany visitors from the P&O’s Pacific Aria who wereexploring this great city.

Thanks to Newcastle council for supplying garbage bins for us all to deposit our rubbish in but Iwonder why the bins can’t be emptied before they overflow down into the river and out to seawhere,according to recent reports, plastic will soon outnumber the fish.

New Year’s Day was the same.Garbage bins full to overflowing all along the riverfront.

It’s a no-brainer that given the council organised the fireworks to attract people to the foreshore,they would expect to have a job the next day cleaning up. But no, just overflowing bins.In Sydney they start cleaning up as soon as the fun finishes.But hey,let’s just throw our rubbish in the overflowing bins and let it foulourwaterways and show the visitors what we really think of our city.

Peter Sinclair, NewcastleLocked out of the looWHILE many people enjoyed themselves at Australia Day celebrations, my family andfriends have nothing but scorn for Lake Macquarie council and their lack of effort with unlockingpublic toilets.

We arrived at a popular park at Marmong Point and set up the picnic table, when onemember of the family, who uses a wheelchair or motorised cart to get around, asked to go to thenearby toilets.They were found to be locked. A phone call to the councilgot a good response from thetelephonist who took all of my details and said someone would be there to unlock the toilet soon.

Guess what? Several hours later the toilet was still locked even after several other families arrived touse the facility. So come on Lacke Macquarie councilgeneral manager Brian Bell –get a memo out to your staff and letthem know that parks in Lake Macquarie are popular places on public holidays, and toilets are anecessity, not a luxury.

Rick Johnson, EleebanaLocked out of the loo, tooI WAS amazed to find the public toilets at the bus terminus at Newcastle station locked during the day recently. I was waiting for the Port Stephens bus to take me to Newcastle Airport.

The sign on the locked waiting room door indicated that I could access the public toilets in the adjacent Shortland Park, quite some distance away. I opted forCustoms House as a closer and possibly cleaner option.I feel this does not show our city as tourist friendly. I directed several other people visiting our beautiful city to the alternative facilities during my 45-minutewait.

Sally Sullivan,BroadmeadowNation buildingBOTH Sydney and Newcastle harbour looked great on Australia Day.If Arthur Phillip hadnot decided to start a colony atSydney harbour in 1788, it would today look like it did 40,000 years ago.

My ancestors arrived in 1791 and 1802 and did notconquer anyone. They were “stolen” from their parents aged 14 and 20 years and forced tocome to Australia.

Their crimes – catching a fish and not going to church. Despite this theyhave helped make a great nation. Without them and thousands of others,Australiamay not be free but occupied by French, Russians or Japanese.I do not feelmore Australianthan those who took citizenship oaths on Australia Day. We are one nation, one people.

I do,however, resent those who think that ancestry and a non-Australian flag give them a claim onour country.

James Carney,Merewether

Shark attacks, while rare, are an emotive topic. Photo: Max Mason Hubers MMH Mick Fanning’s unforgettable encounter. Photo: Association of Surfing Professionals
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A spear fisher wearing a Shark Shield device. Photo: Shark Shield

Shark repellents: the answer to a jaws-free summer holiday?

A spate of attacks on Northern NSW beaches late last year, not to mention dramatic footage of pro surfer Mick Fanning punching a shark in the nose in South Africa, has sparked much debate over the best means of deterring attacks.

While state governments are forking out millions on beach-wide strategies, individuals now have reassurance about what they are buying when it comes to personal deterrents, thanks to an independent study by Choice.

Out of several products it surveyed, the consumer advocacy group said a device called Shark Shield, which uses electrical pulses to overwhelm sensory receptors in a shark’s nostrils, is the only one “independently shown to be effective at deterring sharks from biting”.

Shark Shield emits an electrical field from a two metre-long cord which is attached to and trails behind a device worn on the ankle.

The pulses flood the shark’s electrical sensors – called ampullae of Lorenzini – causing them to spasm uncomfortably so the shark turns away.

Shark Shield managing director Lindsay Lyon said it was good news the device had now been recognised by the consumer group.

“It’s very difficult to convince consumers that you can stop something the size of a car coming at you at 40km an hour,” he said.

“We’ve now got three pieces of independent scientific research and a consumer advocacy group who say to consumers there is an effective product on the market, so take a look,” he said.

Choice examined a range of personal shark deterrents including electrical, magnetic and acoustic repellents; repellent sprays; and visual options like changing the pattern of a wetsuit.

Choice spokesperson Tom Godfrey warned consumers that “marketing sharks” was the real predator.

“There was a feeding frenzy around shark attacks and it’s clear that marketing was targeting consumers with dubious offerings,” Mr Godfrey said.

“We wanted to see which [products] have the science behind them.”

Mr Godfrey said while the Shark Shield – which can also be fitted to surfboards and kayaks – could deter a shark from attacking, it wouldn’t do so every time.

“I don’t think any [of the devices on the market] are perfect and certainly your best defense against being attacked by a shark is to stay out of the water,” he said.

An abalone diver told Choice he knew of two people who had been attacked while wearing a Shark Shield.

In assessing the products, Choice examined existing research on Shark Shield including a University of Western Australia study which found the device had prevented some – but not all – great white and tiger shark attacks. Earlier research from the South Australian Research and Development Institute showed similar results.

Shark Shield’s Mr Lyon said people needed to realise there was “not a safety product in the world in any category that is 100 per cent effective”.

He compared Shark Shield with bike helmets or seat belts, describing it as a tool that surfers or divers who were most at risk of attack could use for peace of mind.

“If you would like to reduce risk, there is technology that will reduce that risk,” he said.

Bob Lushey, managing director of Radiator, whose camouflage wet suits were also reviewed by Choice, said there was a place for all shark deterrent products on the market.

Radiator’s wet suit design used the “simple logic” of sharks’ colour perception to minimise attacks without the need for extra equipment, he said.

Independent testing of the repellent wetsuits’ effectiveness is still under way.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.