In a country where wagering of all kinds is more or less ingrained into the cultural landscape, the lifetime ban of Wests Tigers Tim Simona for punting on rugby league games seems unduly harsh, but for the fact that the rules are clear and unambiguous concerning the issue.
The Tigers’ centre, just 25 years of age and with seemingly a lucrative fortune ahead of him, seemed to commit the one sin that cannot be forgiven, as on any given day, more than a few of the players on the ground have received absolution for all manner of transgressions, such as Kieran Foran coming back after admitting to a laundry list of infractions.
Mr. Simona, there are thousands upon thousands of wagering markets in Australia on any given day.
Worse yet, the evidence against him seem to indict him of betting on opposition players to be the first try scorer in games in which he was participating.
Another famous historical example of someone receiving a lifetime ban involved all-time MLB hits leader Pete Rose, who was banned from the game for betting on the club he was managing and for which he played his entire career, the Cincinnati Reds. Unlike Simona, however, Rose was backing his team, not the opposition.
The NRL has also added new, stronger regulations concerning NRL betting in general, banning most exotic options markets and a number of novelty options.