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Insider Trading at Australia’s Largest Gambling Company

Jack Harris
by Jack Harris

A professional bettor was deemed guilty of seven different charges and was fined AU$18,000 ($11,500) at the end of a lengthy, four-year investigation launched by Racing NSW, the home of thoroughbred racing in New South Wales.

The Bettor Received Insider Information from Wife

As reported by The Sydney Morning Herald, Nathan Snow, the expert bettor who has allegedly placed over 3,000 wagers a year, was given insider information from his wife, Sally Snow, a former senior trading manager at the biggest betting and gaming company in the land Down Under, Tabcorp. 

This, in turn, led to the giant insider trading scandal. These scandals are usually rather difficult, but not entirely impossible to discover, as proven by the case in question. Accordingly, it made sense for the news to be thrown into the spotlight and grab the attention of a large number of bettors who are no strangers to the world of sportsbetting, bookmakers, and other participants in the industry. 

Given its close ties with the Tabcorp name, which is Australia's biggest gambling company that currently counts over 5,000 employees, the scandal became even more intriguing for the industry. 

Reportedly, Nathan Show was the receptor of a series of text messages with sensitive information regarding horses that had received backup from other professional bettors. The text messages, which were sent to the bettor by his wife, were used to place a number of wagers with Tabcorp rivals like Ladbrokes, Bet365, Beteasy, and Betfair.

However, the truth didn’t come out as smoothly as investigators would have liked to. After the regulator required Sally Snow to hand over her phone to look for the incriminatory text messages that led to the scandal, her refusal to do so triggered her banning from any betting activities including placing wagers with any sportsbook in the country or visiting any racetracks or training facilities. 

Sally Snow used the law that offers individuals privilege against self-incrimination to argue her refusal to provide her phone when prompted to do so. 

According to Racing NSW’s chief executive and board member, Peter V’landys, Mrs Snow’s failure to provide her phone to investigators both “obstructed and hindered” the investigating matters which were “potentially of serious concern.”

The bettor’s wife, who is also an amateur poker player, decided to hand over her resignation from her position at Tabcorp in the spring of 2019, as soon as she refused to let investigators assess her phone.

Nathan Snow, Examined for One and a Half Years Worth of Data 

Mr. Snow declared that at the end of a lengthy assessment aimed at “18 months' worth of data”, he was charged over seven bets placed over the course of 72 hours, or the equivalent of seven charges of improper conduct. He did not face any criminal charges for these charges, except for the fine he was given.  

The regulator’s probe showed that the professional bettor made a profit of around AU$1,300 ($834) from the said insider trading scheme. Among other betting infractions he was charged with, we can mention placing a $200 wager on Ventura Storm to win during the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington five years ago, along with a $800 wager on the same horse to place (finish first or second), which proved to be successful. Ventura Storm was ranked third during the race.

Mr Snow expressed his disagreement with the decision, but at the same time claimed that he was content to see the problem finally getting a much-anticipated resolution.

He further added that, at the end of the investigation initiated by Racing NSW and police forces, “people can see the greatest racing crime of the 21st century never happened.” The bettor argued that there was never a matter of using “inflated odds, no unreasonable limits or anything silly”.

Tabcorp, Fined AU$1 Million Over Historic System Outage in Victoria 

Another intriguing Tabcorp-related scandal that took over the headlines lately was the historical decision taken by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) to issue a record-breaking fine of AU$1 million ($644,401) to the company because of the conduct that it showed during an important 2020 system outage. 

The outage was related to Tabcorp’s Wagering and Betting System which witnessed a critical failure on November 7, 2020, during the yearly Spring Racing Carnival. As a result of the failure, the service was rendered completely useless and became unavailable during the 36-hour downtime. As a consequence, the VGCCC, which oversees these types of matters, immediately launched an investigation, coming across an initial response from Tabcorp that left much to be desired. 

The group did not offer a sufficient amount of information on its own, coercing the regulator to issue a series of directions meant to make it cooperate.

The record fine is considered a striking reminder of the regulator’s unaltered commitment to upkeep the integrity of the industry in Victoria, promoting a safe environment for players. 

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