Shane stumped

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RIP Brian
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Feb 22, 2001
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CRICKET POKER STUMPED

Victoria gamling regulators bowl Shane Warne out

One of the world's great cricketing legends, fast bowler Shane Warne found himself headed back to the pavilion in short order this week, but it was a UK-based gaming website, rather than a cricket pitch that witnessed his departure.

The Sunday Herald Sun in Australia reports that a gaming website promoted by Warne has been shut down by the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation following an investigation. The Commission ruled that PokerCricket.com broke state laws.

"It is illegal to offer or advertise in [the Australian state of] Victoria the playing of interactive [gambling] games," executive commissioner Peter Cohen said. "Gambling is a strictly regulated business and we would expect all people to comply with legislation, whether they are high profile or not."

Warne escaped punishment by the regulator because his management removed the UK-based site from the internet.

Anti-gambling campaigners accused Warne - who is claimed to have said on the site that poker players should not to be scared of losing - of cashing in on vulnerable people.

The Commission launched an investigation after the Sunday Herald Sun asked the regulator if Warne's site was legal. Cohen said investigations found Warne's website did not have a licence to operate in Victoria, but he was satisfied the leg spinner and his management did not realise the site was breaking the law.

Warne launched the site last June under the slogan: "Pad up or deal. Either suits me."

Visitors who clicked on the site's "play poker now" button were taken to a separate site where they could gamble on poker and casino games.

PokerCricket.com also featured a blog by Warne, a computer cricket game and the cricketer's poker tips.

Warne's manager James Erskine was unapologetic and direct about the newspaper's role in getting the site closed this week. He accused the Sunday Herald Sun of gutter journalism for approaching the commission.

"Stop being a weasel and get a proper job," he told reporters.
 

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