The Effects of Gambling on Rugby Union

The game of rugby originated in Warwickshire, England around 1823. It’s said that it began with a football match in which a player named William Webb Ellis picked up the ball and ran with it mid-match. Though the truth of the origins are highly debated, it’s well known that the sport formalized rules in 1863 and the first Rugby Football Union league was established in 1871.

History of the Sport

  • 1863 – First rules established
  • 1871 – Rugby Football League formed
  • 1871 – First international match: Scotland 1 England 0
  • 1900 – First introduced at Summer Olympics
  • 1924 – Rugby dropped from Summer Olympics
  • 1987 – First Rugby World Cup
  • 1995 – First European Champions Cup
  • 1997 – First European Rugby Challenge Cup
  • 2016 – Reintroduced to the Summer Olympics

Rugby Union & Gambling Regulations

The RUL has strict regulations surrounding gambling for every participant of the sport. These rules, designed to protect both punter and the league’s integrity, regulate both professional and amateur participants as well as any related family members.

Any persons connected with a professional or amateur club, including World Rugby U20 Championship teams, are unable to bet on the outcome of any league in which they take part. Professional competitors are also barred from betting on any rugby match anywhere in the world.

Rugby Union and Casino Games

For players unable to place wagers on their favourite sport, many online casinos offer an exciting alternative. The massively popular online slot Rugby Star lets you get in on all the exciting action a live match can offer. You can find which sites offer this game and more at

Samuel Richardson is one of the industry’s foremost online casino gaming experts. According to Samuel, games like Rugby Star are a fantastic substitute to gambling on the European Rugby Challenge Cup and may offer many players an exciting legal escape.

Rugby Union Scandals

Unfortunately, in recent years, there have been several betting scandals in the sport involving both players and coaches. In the National Rugby League (NRL), footballer Ryan Tandy involved himself in a scandal that cost him his career.

Tandy attempted to draw a penalty to put the opposing team in an advantageous position to score a penalty point. This attempt resulted in a lifetime ban from the sport, and tragically his death from a drug overdose just a few years later.

Recently, scandal rocked Rugby Union when Wales attacking coach Rob Howley was found guilty of betting on rugby matches in which his team participated. Alerted by a local betting company, the advisory board determined that Rob placed a total of 363 bets covering more than 1,000 matches over four years.

He received an 18-month ban which covered time served and allowed him to return to competition on June 16th of this year. It was determined that though Howley placed many bets on the Welsh National Team, for whom he was a coach, none of his bets consisted of match-fixing.


As long as sporting has existed, gambling always has played a significant part. Betting on the outcome of an athletic match is an exhilarating prospect for many. Whether you are a player or a spectator, the thrill of winning a punt enhances the experience of games of chance. The effects of gambling on rugby can be exciting for some, but devastating for others.

For many players, coaches, and other Rugby Union participants, betting is a very fine line for sure. Fortunately, many online casinos provide opportunities to experience the thrill of betting on your favourite game without breaking the law. Games like Rugby Star by Microgaming allow the thrill of your favourite sporting match without the many negative consequences for its many participants.

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