Brownlow Betting Scandal Sees AFL Umpire, 3 More Arrested

One of the men arrested was confirmed to be an AFL umpire, while no such information about the rest was shared by either the police, or the AFL. The investigation is still ongoing, so it’s too early to definitively confirm that only vote count information was leaked.

Only Information Leak Confirmed

The Brownlow Medal votes were allegedly leaked to a number of betting parties. This prompted an investigation by the Victoria Police’s Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit. The investigation also involved the Australian Football League (AFL) and the Sport Integrity Australia agency. Four people were reportedly arrested, with later updates indicating that one of them was an AFL umpire.

The suspicious betting activity that prompted the police investigation in the first place was initially provided to the AFL by one of its “betting agency partners”, AFL EGM football and general counsel Andrew Dillon was cited saying in AFL’s official statement, which is available on its website. According to the statement, AFL’s Integrity unit “immediately gathered further information” and then alerted the Victoria Police and also brought in Sports Integrity Australia.

The language used in AFL’s news statement emphasized that even though suspicious round-by-round betting was intercepted, it only concerned leaked information. This means that the results of the Brownlow Medal votes themselves were not affected, at least by the information that’s currently available to the investigation. This, however, also doesn’t exclude the possibility – it’s just stated that the results being affected are not suggested at this point either by the ALF, or by the police.

This year’s winner was Carlton captain Patrick Cripps.

Police Investigation Is Still Ongoing

It’s a very big distinction, so it’s understandable that the organization would want to be perfectly clear about it. However, since it’s also a hugely important possibility, the investigation included multiple raids. The Victoria Police also issued a news statement, which mentioned that multiple electronic items were seized during the raids, including several mobile phones.

The arrested men included a 27-year-old from Drouin, a 29-year-old from Oak Park, and two 32-year-old men from Glenroy. According to the Victorian Police, one of the Glenroy men was interviewed about “conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome”, while the other three were interviewed about the potential use of “corrupt conduct information for betting purposes.” All four men were released, pending enquiries, with all, except the man from Oak Park, expecting to be charged on summons.

AFL’s statement clarified that round-by-round betting on the prestigious Brownlow Medal award only opens after the home and away season, and assured people that the votes are “sealed and stored” in an off-site secure location. Another security measure is that the votes are only opened on stage, and if that’s not enough, the AFL clarified that KPMG audits the sealed vote card throughout the season.

So, in the end, it’s probably a safe bet to say the results weren’t compromised. However, the investigation is still ongoing, so a clear answer is still eagerly awaited by fans throughout Australia.