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Nikolic ‘didn’t know’ about Hayson bet ban

Jockey Danny Nikolic says he did not know Eddie Hayson was banned from TAB betting when he gave his partner’s account code to his friend.

The controversial Sydney gambling figure recently used the TAB phone betting account of Nikolic’s partner Tania Hyett to bet, a Victorian tribunal has heard.

Nikolic said he did not know about Hayson’s TAB betting ban when he gave his friend the PIN code, saying the former Sydney brothel owner used the account to repay money he owed the jockey.

Nikolic said he only became aware of the ban when Hyett’s account was frozen four months ago after Hayson used it to bet one Saturday, having deposited $9000-$10,000.

“That’s when I was aware that he had a ban on him as a TAB punter,” Nikolic told the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal on Wednesday.

He said he did not know about a ban on third parties using TAB accounts until Hyett told him.

Racing Victoria barrister Jeff Gleeson QC said that was a lie, which Nikolic denied.

A description in a media report that Nikolic bets alongside Hayson was not fair, the rider told VCAT where he is bidding to regain his jockey licence.

He said he did not know Hayson had named him as a director of a company set up last October until he read about it in a newspaper and has asked for his name to be removed.

Nikolic said he had never borrowed funds from Hayson but had lent tens of thousands of dollars to his friend of 12-15 years who still owes him money.

Nikolic denies placing bets for Hayson on three NRL matches that are being investigated by NSW police He also denies adding $20,000 of his own money to one 2015 wager.

Hayson has denied any involvement in match fixing.

VCAT deputy president Heather Lambrick has now agreed that RV can access Nikolic’s financial records, after denying two earlier applications.

Nikolic has told VCAT he has used Hyett’s Betfair and TAB accounts to bet on sports but not on horse racing.

Nikolic said betting exchange Betfair closed the betting accounts of anyone linked to the Nikolic name, including Hyett’s, after the publicity over the Baron Archer inquiry.

Nikolic has told VCAT he had no involvement in the total $260,000 wagered on the horse Baron Archer to lose a March 2015 race at Echuca but something was done on Hyett’s account.

Nikolic said it was his father gambling through Hyett’s account.

“She doesn’t gamble on the races. It is usually my old man,” he said.

No charges were laid by stewards over betting activity on Baron Archer, an investigation expanded when betting exchange Betfair notified them of an abnormally high volume of matched bets on the horse.

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