Craig Bellamy urges NRL to keep bettors' welfare in mind


Craig Bellamy

Craig Bellamy

Ryan Tandy's former coach Craig Bellamy admits he's dumbfounded as to why NRL players are still betting on rugby league matches, but he's urged the game to keep the welfare of individuals in mind.

The NRL are expected to hold a media conference on Thursday or Friday to announce the scope of gambling breaches uncovered by an integrity unit investigation.

Manly winger David Williams's name was linked to the probe on Wednesday amid claims a Melbourne player was among those facing sanction.

Melbourne coach Bellamy couldn't confirm whether a Storm player was under investigation, however he said any player who bets on matches after the NRL hands down their findings "has got rocks in their head".

The NRL has already made it clear that their investigation - reportedly involving up to eight players - does not relate to match fixing and that most of the bets placed were minor.

However, after a two-month probe working alongside betting agencies, it is expected to come down firmly to send a warning to players, club employees and officials that gambling on matches is completely unacceptable.

While the late Tandy was found guilty of trying to fix a game he was involved in when playing for the Bulldogs, it's been revealed since his sudden death earlier this year that his problems stemmed from a long-term gambling problem.

Bellamy, who spoke at Tandy's funeral, suggested the NRL may need to look after the health of anyone struggling with gambling.

"It's quite foolish. From the rumours I'm hearing, I don't think there's been a whole heap of damage done with the size of the bets," Bellamy said.

"I've got no idea why it's happening after they've been told. They all know.

"Gambling can be an illness. That might be a bit of an issue for the NRL. I'm sure they're going to take some steps in this situation to end it.

"Anyone who has a bet after this has got rocks in their head."

Manly would not comment on allegations over former Test and NSW Origin winger Williams, however the club was disappointed his name was put out when no one else has been named. AAP


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