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NRL set to go back to the negotiating table over integrity fee

National Rugby League (NRL) chiefs are to go back to the negotiating table with Australian bookmakers, with temporary agreements set to be rolled over once again for the ongoing season, reports Fairfax Media.

It’s being said Chief Executive Todd Greenberg is to be drafted in to urgent talks, two months after the start of the season, for more discussion on how much the game charges for betting on its matches.

The NRL, whose previous fee, on bet types such as head-to-head and line betting, had traditionally been 1.2 percent of turnover, had been demanding a three percent levy on bookmakers, or twenty percent of gross revenue.

Encompassing each individual bet type that has four or more options, such as first try scorer, it has also been suggested that bookmakers balked at the plans to backdate charges to the start of the season.

Should its hike have been pushed through it was reported that the NRL could pocket up to an extra $10m annually, which prompted some quarters to suggest that bookies could scale back its promotion of NRL markets.

Another way it has been suggested that Australian bookmakers could forego extra fees, for bet types with four or more winning options, would be cutting back to just three winning options.

It’s now being suggested that an agreement could not be in place until the midway point of the current season, with a revised policy thought to be imminently offered to the nation’s bookmakers.

Another cause for much debate is whether parties will have fresh terms agreed before the commencement of State of Origin, one of the biggest sporting events, and popular betting products, on the Australian calendar.

The first game of the traditional New South Wales and Queensland encounter is scheduled for June 6 in Melbourne, with forecasters predicting a windfall for the NRL if a deal is in place.

It has also been speculated that the NRL’s hard-line stance is a sign that it is comfortable distancing itself from gambling, even if the final results of such an actions results in revenues from the sector not being maximised.

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