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New Zealand
Tew understands IRBs new gambling restrictions
October 25, 2013

Any person closely connected to top-level rugby in New Zealand won't be permitted to bet on games under global regulations being rolled out by the International Rugby Board. NZRU chief executive Steve Tew isn't aware of any rugby match-fixing problems, either in New Zealand or overseas, but says his body is committed to educating provincial unions and players about the new rules.

Tew says while the regulations will be seen as restrictive and unnecessary by some, they are symptomatic of corruption problems that have plagued other sports. An IRB integrity unit has tightened rules in some areas, including wagering on games where a "connected person" at the professional or semi-professional level is not allowed to place a bet.

"It's anybody who has a direct relationship with someone that can affect the result of a match," Tew said. "You can imagine what that means. An administrator of a union, a referee, players' partners, it's complicated."

Tew says the changes are further muddied by different attitudes to privacy among the IRB's 100-plus member nations. The extra obligations, which are partly attributable to rugby sevens becoming an Olympic sport, has already ruffled feathers close to Tew.

"There are people here (NZRU colleagues) who like to have a bet, who are not allowed to bet on rugby. Nor are their wives allowed to bet for them," he said. "The key thing is that, as a sport, we're working really hard to find the right balance between being overly bureaucratic and doing the best to ensure rugby's good record is upheld. We can never be complacent in this area."

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