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Week on the Punt: Betfair pulls NRL betting odds over tax row

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We have been advocating for Australian betting sites to ditch the NRL for years, and finally our campaign has come to fruition with Betfair pulling the plug on the rugby league competition.

While our motives are entirely selfish, and are based around our poor strike rate when it comes to NRL betting, Betfair’s decision to pull its NRL odds just days out from the season starting is a huge surprise.

The gambling giant has upped the war against how much tax betting companies are forced to pay. The latest twist has seen Betfair.com.au take down all markets for pre-season NRL games, including the All Stars fixture this weekend.

Betfair has vowed to continue its boycott until a deal can be reached with the NRL, which shocked wagering companies last month when it suggested a super tax be applied to bookmakers who wanted to promote the competition’s highest-profile matches.

This type of product fee model is used in horse racing when black type or bigger feature races are held, but it would be the first time it has been applied to a major sporting code in Australia.

The tension between the warring parties is nothing new, with similar debates happening prior to last season, before betting companies struck a deal with the NRL just before the State of Origin series. This deal was backdated and only applied to last season, meaning all parties are back to the negotiating table.

While no other betting sites have confirmed they are pulling NRL markets, the Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that “most bookmakers are yet to sign up for the NRL’s new proposed fee structure”.

Aussies aiming high at Women’s T20 World Cup

The Australian women’s cricket team will open its ICC T20 World Cup campaign against India on Friday night in Sydney.

The Aussies are the world’s no.1 team and favourite to win the tournament, in which they are defending champions after defeating England in the 2018 final.

Australia is as short as $1.30 at BetOnline to defeat India in its opening clash, while India has blown out to $2.30 with most bookies.

If you’re looking to us for some guidance, jump on the Beth Mooney/Ellyse Perry double for most runs and most wickets. Both are in outstanding form and loom as key to the Aussies’ chances.

Fury out to spoil Wilder’s heavyweight streak

“I’m going to rip his heart out and feed it to him.” That is how Tyson Fury described his chances of defeating Deontay Wilder for the WBC Heavyweight Championship title.

Wilder will be gunning to break Muhammad Ali’s record of 10 straight world heavyweight title defences in Las Vegas, with the fight expected to start around 1pm AEDT on Sunday.

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Fury also said, “I’m going to make it so that I’m in control and I take it out of anybody’s hands. I’ll step him up until he can’t go anymore, until he is going to quit or he is knocked out.”

Read our Wilder v Fury betting tips to learn more about the fight being described as “the biggest in 50 years”.

Fading Tomic’s horror run continues

The kid many Australians thought would lead our next generation of tennis stars is all but done.

Now into the second half of his underwhelming professional career, Bernard Tomic is a shadow of the player that ascended to no.17 in the world rankings in 2016.

While Tomic actually won a match this week – a three-setter in qualifying against Pol Toledo Bague, ranked 496th in the world – he lost in the first round of the Delray Beach Open to Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, no.147 in the men’s singles rankings.

Tomic was only in the main draw because Tennys Sandgren was forced to pull out with a knee injury.

Tomic has been breaking all sorts of records recently, although he is yet to challenge his own 28-minute loss Jarkko Nieminen in 2014 at the Miami Masters.

The closest he has come to eclipsing that record was his 39-minute thrashing at the hands of Japan’s Go Soeda last week. He also managed to win just three points against Evan Gulbis in a second set recently.

Bernie, on behalf of all Australians, we think it’s time you hang up the racquet.

AFL preseason fever hits local grounds around Australia

The AFLW has provided great entertainment over the past few weeks, and now the men will return as the AFL’s preseason series kicks off.

The 2020 Marsh Community Series will be played across a variety of suburban and regional footy grounds all over the country.

SEE ALSO: 2020 AFL BETTING GUIDE

The City of Casey will be pleased to see the Melbourne Demons hosting the Adelaide Crows at Casey Fields, where the Demon’s VFL side plays its home matches.

Gold Coast fans will get to see the first real hit-out for their prized draft picks Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson, who will take on Geelong at Metricon Stadium.

Other big AFL preseason clashes this weekend include the Brisbane Lions hosting Port Adelaide in Burpengary, a booming bayside community about 35km north of Brisbane.

NBA rolls on with huge 76ers vs Bucks clash

The NBA All-Star weekend was a great chance for players to rest up and enjoy their time off, but now the second half of the season begins.

The run home is almost like a different season for some teams, several of which have shuffled their rosters with an eye on the playoffs.

Two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference will go head-to-head as the Philadelphia 76ers take on the Milwaukee Bucks in Wisconsin.

The massive clash will be available on ESPN from 12:30pm AEDT on Sunday for Australian viewers, who will want to see two-time NBA All-Star Ben Simmons in action for Philly.