Eddie Hayson embroiled in NRL match-fixing investigation
Published: June 2, 2016 - 2:25PM
Controversial gambler and former brothel owner Eddie Hayson is embroiled in a NSW police investigation into allegations of match-fixing in two NRL games last year.
One of the matches being investigated is a 2015 match between South Sydney Rabbitohs and Manly Sea Eagles.
The week before the match, Mr Hayson is alleged to have collected $500,000 in cash to bet on the match. The bet involved Souths winning by more than eight points.
A jockey, on the instructions of Mr Hayson, is also understood to have wagered $120,000 on the same outcome with a bookmaker. Mr Hayson later instructed the jockey to put another $100,000 on but the bookmaker refused the second wager.
"The reason it [the betting] didn't come under suspicion was because the Rabbits were favourites. They were giving away seven and a half points. So they had to win by eight points or more which they did win," said a source who declined a request by Mr Hayson to contribute to the scheme.
He said Mr Hayson told him six players were involved. "Eddie did tell me there were six players and he had to give 50 large [$50,000] to each one," said the source.
A statement from NSW police said: "The Organised Crime Squad is in the early stages of examining information to alleged match fixing in the NRL. No further comment is appropriate at this stage."
The round 16 game between South Sydney and Manly took place on Friday June 26 at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.
Souths led Manly 6-4 at half-time. The Rabbitohs were coming off a bye, having lost 34-6 to Wests Tigers in their previous game. Manly were at the bottom of the ladder but had just beaten the Tigers 30-20. Betting agencies contacted by Fairfax Media said that there was no suspicious betting activity on that match.
Separately, Mr Hayson, who has been banned from betting at the TAB, has angrily denied widespread rumours he was behind beleaguered Parramatta Eels captain Kieran Foran's recently revealed $75,000 gambling spree.
According to the TAB's terms and conditions, only the account holder is allowed to use the account to bet.
Sources have confirmed Mr Hayson met Foran in Brisbane on May 20, the day after Foran's TAB account was allegedly used for a massive betting spree. According to News Corp $75,000 was lost from his betting account. "Nobody knows who made the bets on dogs and horses but the money has gone all the same," the Daily Telegraph reported.
Big bets from his account: Parramatta Eels skipper Kieran Foran. Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
The frenzied betting included wages on greyhounds at Dapto, Albion Park and Sandown. This was followed by betting on South African horse races.
Fairfax Media has been informed Mr Hayson and Foran were seen meeting at the Manly team hotel as the Sea Eagles were in Brisbane to play the Broncos.
Foran, who remains close to some of the Manly players despite his switch to the Eels this season, was in Queensland receiving treatment for personal issues at a rehabilitation facility.
The Kiwi international, who is out for the season due to a shoulder injury, is understood to have instructed lawyers to start proceedings against the TAB for a breach of privacy.
Earlier this year Fairfax Media revealed Mr Hayson, already banned for life from the Star Casino, was banned from betting with the TAB.
In February the TAB instructed staff members to "no longer serve Edward (Eddie) Hayson ... due to suspicious ... activity".
"Please ensure your staff familiarise themselves with his face," said the missive.
"Am I addicted? Well, it has been a problem over the years," Mr Hayson has previously told Fairfax Media while admitting he once placed a $1 million bet on a State of Origin game. In 2014, Mr Hayson lost control of his high-class brothel Stiletto and declared himself insolvent with debts of $52 million.
In 2006 Mr Hayson's friendship with Newcastle Knights star Andrew Johns brought a storm of publicity about Mr Hayson using inside information to win an estimated $2 million on a betting plunge.
Along with big-time punter Steve Fletcher, Mr Hayson wagered a fortune on the lowly placed New Zealand Warriors to beat the competition frontrunners Newcastle. Bookies were so confident of a Knights win they gave the Warriors a 16.5-point start.
Unbeknown to the public, and to the bookmakers, Johns had injured his neck at a weights session on the Thursday night before the Sunday game. Hayson, who owned racehorses with Johns and his brother Matthew, denied receiving inside information about Andrew Johns' neck injury. A subsequent NRL investigation found nothing amiss.
The other match the police are understood to be investigating involves information received from an organised crime figure that match-fixing allegedly took place in a round 24 clash in 2015 between Manly and Parramatta, which the Eels won 20-16.
Comments are being sought from Mr Hayson and Foran.
With Patrick Begley
Heavily linked with NRL players: Eddie Hayson. Photo: Andrew Meares
The Life and Times of Eddie Hayson
Born in 1968, Edward Kenneth Hayson is the son of the late Sadie "Sally" Hayson, who sold the Northbridge shopping centre for $80 million in 2004.
Underworld figures, Comanchero bikies, jockeys and rugby league players all frequented Hayson's Camperdown brothel Stiletto, once described as "the Taj Mahal of Sydney brothels". In 2012, a joint task force raided the Parramatta Road premises as part of "operational activity".
Bookmaker Tom Waterhouse and Suzee Fenech, wife of boxer Jeff Fenech, both had caveats over Hayson's brothel to secure money owed. Hayson has been one of the nation's biggest gamblers.
In 2006 he joined forces with another big-time punter, Steve Fletcher. The pair put $60,000 on the favourite, Lucy's Light, but moments before the obscure South Australian greyhound race, they stacked bets on other contenders, blowing out Lucy Light's odds from $1.10 to $13. The payout came to $700,000.
Another betting plunge the same year involved Hayson's friend, the then Newcastle Knights player Andrew Johns. Hayson raced horses with Johns and his brother Matthew. Armed with information that Andrew Johns was injured and unlikely to play, Hayson and Fletcher placed huge bets on the lowly placed Warriors to beat Newcastle. The pair allegedly netted more than $2 million.
Hayson's friendship with Johns was also at the centre of the 2013 More Joyous affair. Johns had allegedly heard from Gai Waterhouse's son, Tom, that his mother's horse couldn't win, a claim Tom denied. Johns was accused of passing the More Joyous tip on to Hayson, who passed it on to a jockey. No adverse findings were made against Waterhouse or Johns but Hayson was banned from NSW racecourses for six months for hindering the investigation that followed.
The father of two remains banned from Sydney's Star Casino and cannot enter a TAB.
He lost control of the brothel in 2104 after declaring himself insolvent, owing $52 million.