Police investigate NZ NBL game amid 'inappropriate betting' allegations

Allegations of illegal betting in the National Basketball League has seen the police called in to investigate.

NBL chairman and Basketball New Zealand chief executive Iain Potter, confirmed to the New Zealand Herald police are looking at allegations of "inappropriate betting" in a recent NBL game.

"Basketball New Zealand was recently advised of allegations of inappropriate betting activities linked to a National Basketball League game. It is imperative that the integrity of our sport be protected," Potter told the NZ Herald.

"We have referred the allegations to the New Zealand Police and they have decided to pursue this further, which we welcome."

A statement released by police this afternoon addressed the matter.

"Police are well aware of the potential risk that match-fixing and other related activity can have on the integrity of sporting competition," National Manager, Financial Crime Group, Detective Superintendent Iain Chapman says.

"Police take match-fixing allegations seriously and are committed to ensuring New Zealand sport is corruption-free. We encourage all those involved in sport who have information about criminal behaviour to contact police."

Potter had already said the league was itself investigating a game at the end of July between the Supercity Rangers and the Taranaki Mountain Airs.

In that game, while there was only two seconds left to play in the fourth quarter, a basket from the Airs cut the Rangers' lead down to nine points at 94 - 85.

The Rangers then took a timeout and upon resumption hit a last-second three pointer to push the lead back out to 12 points.

A TAB betting option sees punters able to bet on a team to win by 11 or more.

This is unusual as teams in this position would typically run down the clock to end the game instead of going for a last-second basket.

However, Rangers coach Jeff Green, who the NZ Herald reports has denied any wrongdoing by his team, says the timeout was made to give a departing player a final shot.

Basketball New Zealand and the NZ NBL board are taking the allegations very seriously, the NZ Herald reports Potter as saying.


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