LEGAL ACTION: The Knights have initiated legal action in the Federal Court against sponsor Betezy.THE Newcastle Knights have initiated legal action in the Federal Court against sponsor Betezy, alleging the online gambling agency breached their contract by not paying promised income.
The Knights announced a three-year sponsorship with the racing and sports bookmaking company in February 2009, according to which the NRL club was to have received at least $100,000 a season and potentially as much as $1million annually.
The Newcastle Herald has been told Betezy has not paid any money for at least the past two years of the sponsorship agreement, prompting the Knights to pursue what they believe they are owed.
Knights chief executive Matt Gidley said yesterday that it was club policy not to comment about pending legal action.
Former Knights chief executive Steve Burraston, who was in charge of the club when the sponsorship deal was done, declined to comment when contacted by the Herald.
The Herald tried to contact Betezy management last night but a Northern Territory-based race betting operator who took the call directed inquiries to the company’s customer service number during business hours today.
On the Betezy internet website, the company’s postal address is listed as Surry Hills in Sydney.
When the Knights announced the partnership in 2009, it was reported that Betezy had similar arrangements with Cronulla, Gold Coast and South Sydney.
According to the deal with the Knights, the club stood to collect an up-front sponsorship worth at least $100,000 a year for 2009, 2010 and 2011, plus a percentage of every bet posted on their affiliated Betezy website, www.knightsbet南京夜网.au.
‘‘The Betezy people think it could be worth $1million a year to us, so I suppose we have to wait and see,’’ Burraston said in the Herald on February 20, 2009.
‘‘For me, it’s hard to imagine people gamble that much, but maybe they do.
‘‘It’s their game, not mine, so I’m not going to criticise that figure or argue the point.
‘‘We’d be delighted if it’s true.
‘‘The people from Betezy are talking some big numbers … hopefully it’s as big as they think it is.
‘‘We’re just happy with the up-front payment and to give it a go.’’