NSWRL hope to hear from Anthony Seibold over 60 Minutes trolling claims


“It’s someone who makes a living from our game,” Seibold said on 60 Minutes.

“There’s someone who is part of this conversation who has added to the rumours, who has then forwarded on the messages through social media platforms.”

Steinfort named the NSWRL before Seibold said: “It’s a very high-profile franchise within our game.

“That’s what so ironic about all of this, I can’t sit here and tell you these names because essentially 60 Minutes could be charged … it’s crazy,” he added.

Trodden, however, told the Herald on Monday morning: “I was surprised and disappointed to hear the allegations.

“We haven’t heard anything from the police, we haven’t heard anything from the NRL integrity unit, we haven’t heard anything from Anthony Seibold and we haven’t heard anything from 60 Minutes.

NSWRL boss Dave Trodden.Credit:John Veage

“We only became aware of the allegations on Sunday night.

“What they are talking about is really appalling stuff and should be addressed.

“We’ve gone to the NRL this morning to ask if any allegations have been made to them and if they relate to any NSWRL employee.

“We’d also welcome Anthony Seibold contacting us and telling us what [he knows].”

NSWRL had no idea about Anthony Seibold's claims prior to the 60 Minutes.

NSWRL had no idea about Anthony Seibold’s claims prior to the 60 Minutes.Credit:NRL Photos

The NSWRL employs 93 staff and is preparing for the State of Origin series.

Seibold has handed all information to the NRL and since moved back to Sydney to be with his family.

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“The amount of hate and the amount of defamatory comments being spread, and what people were happy to spread, was crazy. That’s not the Australia I grew up in,” Seibold said.

“My situation went viral on social media with defamatory comments – my reputation was ruined in a lot of respects.

“The very last message upset me the most because it spoke about my daughter. For my mum and dad, it was hard for them too to see those messages.

“There was no truth to [the rumours]. I don’t know what the motivation was for those messages. I don ‘t understand it. They wanted to hurt myself and the others named in some way shape or form.”

Erin Molan, a popular sports presenter for Nine, publishers of the Herald, also spoke about online harassment, and revealed how one troll hoped she had a ”stillborn”.

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Trolling punters to be banned by betting giants for threatening footy stars


The move was quickly endorsed by ARL Commission boss Peter V’landys, who has also dealt with jockeys and trainers being scolded online for perceived bad rides and below-par performances from horses in his role as Racing NSW chief executive.

“I welcome their stance,” V’landys said. “Any type of abuse on social media should not be tolerated and some of the things on there are completely and utterly ridiculous. If you can’t take a loss then you shouldn’t be betting.”

The NRL and AFL’s relationship with gambling companies has been scrutinised in recent years with most NRL clubs receiving sponsorship from an Australian-based bookmaker.

The accessibility of athletes on social media has led to punters venting their frustration – sometimes immediately – on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram to those they deem culpable for lost money.

Western Bulldogs forward Josh Bruce claimed he could receive more than 30 gambling-related messages on social media in one weekend. Adelaide’s Taylor Walker was harassed because he didn’t kick a goal in one match.

NRL betting markets are also framed on whether a player will score a try at any time and margin betting is often decided by conversion attempts given to non-goalkickers in the dying minutes when the result is beyond doubt.

Papenhuyzen described the threats as “annoying” and said his only focus was on winning for his team.

It’s unacceptable, vile and abusive behaviour and Australia’s licensed online wagering operators won’t stand for it

Brent Jackson

The abuse and threats often extend to a player’s family.

The wagering industry said it would cancel any accounts linked to people who are found to have engaged in such behaviour and will work with professional sporting codes and police to track down culprits.

“It’s unacceptable, vile and abusive behaviour and Australia’s licensed online wagering operators won’t stand for it,” Responsible Wagering Australia’s chief executive officer Brent Jackson said.

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“Player safety and sporting integrity are of primary concern, and we’ve drawn a line in the sand that says, clearly, ‘if you engage in abusive behaviour, we don’t want you on our wagering platforms’.

“We will work to immediately ban identified individuals who act in a hateful or threatening manner towards sporting identities.

“We have a long-standing commitment to maintaining integrity in sport and Australia’s online betting operators take a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of harassment, bullying and abusive behaviour.”

The NRL earlier this year cancelled all betting on its Dally M awards after last year’s coach of the year scandal, which involved people with knowledge of Craig Bellamy’s win allegedly betting on him.

But the code still has dozens of betting markets on each match, with losing punters often ranting at the athletes involved. The problem has been exacerbated during the COVID-19 shutdown, with many punters at home accessing betting websites and apps.

“Threats and harassment of players is absolutely not on, and we felt compelled to call it out,” an executive from one major Australian wagering operator said. “Anyone that thinks this sort of behaviour is reasonable is not the sort of customer we want to have on our books.”

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