NRL Won't Ban Popular Betting Option

"It's not being contemplated."

NRL Won't Ban Popular Betting Option

The NRL has no plans to eliminate the first try-scoring market in matches, despite the ongoing Tim Simona betting scandal.

The league confirmed on Tuesday that it had banned a number of individual player markets, as well as the option of betting on 40-20 kicks and the National Youth Cup.

However, the first-try scoring market, regarded as the second most popular amongst the punters behind team head-to-heads, was missing from the list of those scrapped.

And an NRL spokesman confirmed to AAP on Wednesday there were no future plans to remove the popular betting option.

"It's not being contemplated," he said.

"The ones we banned were more subjective things.

"Stuff that could be manipulated easier than other bets."

Simona is reportedly facing allegations he bet on players he was marking to be the first try scorer, while playing for the Wests Tigers last year.

He has until the end of this week to respond to the allegations.

Years ago, the league eliminated the first point-scoring play option - a key component in the Ryan Tandy case in 2010.

The removal of the exotic markets over the summer came as part of an agreement between the NRL and any Australian betting agencies who wish to list odds on the sport.

NRL betting regulations force bookmakers to pay a product fee to the league each year in order to offer markets on the competition and its matches.

The amount paid by each betting agency is directly related to the amount of money wagered on the sport.

In turn, betting agencies say it could cost the NRL millions of dollars each year if they were to eliminate the first try-scoring market.

It's also understood there was little to no blowback from betting agencies on the recent removal of the exotic markets, with the majority of them being amongst their least popular options.

However, that would likely change if that included the option to punt on the first try scorer.

As part of the agreement, agencies must report any betting irregularities to the NRL, and any new market options also have to be approved by the league.

Bookmakers contacted by AAP said the new changes would have no influence over their current relationship with the league, or any sponsorship arrangements with either it or its teams.

The NRL has no such power over off-shore betting agencies, while NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg vowed to come down hard on any players found in breach of the game's betting code.

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