Dragons fined

The St George Illawarra Dragons club has been fined $15,000 after they admitted players had bet on themselves. In a media release today, the Dragons gave details of an incident when players placed a bet on their team to beat the New Zealand Warriors at Ericsson Stadium on June 23. The St George Illawarra club also wrote a letter to the NRL which gave explained how the incident took place.

Saints won the game and the bet in a 32-22 boiler over.

The NRL Code of Conduct and the NRL Operations manual both expressly prohibit players participating in gambling activities on matches.

The NRL said there that was no impropriety within the match, nor of any manipulation of the points in the game, but it still considered the incident a serious breach of its rules.

A further $10,000 fine was suspended for two years on condition that the club did not breach the gambling rules again.

"To its credit, the St George Illawarra club has been extremely cooperative in investigating the issue and this has mitigated the extent of the fine," NRL chief executive David Gallop said.

"We accept that we are talking about a very small amount, winnings of around of $2,000, and an isolated instance.

"However innocent it may appear at times, players betting on matches can only lead to unhealthy rumour and innuendo.

"Gambling involving players and the associated rumours have devastated other sports both nationally and internationally and it is not something we will tolerate in rugby league.

"Each year, every new player entering an NRL club attends a course which outlines his obligations as an NRL player and this includes specific reference to the gambling rules.

"Furthermore, each club under the Minimum Education Standards undertakes to provide a course covering gambling issues in sport."

"Clearly, had St George Illawarra's activities been on a larger scale, or had the activity been such that it could be seen as the club manipulating a result, then the fine would have been significantly greater and individuals could have faced much more serious action," Gallop said