Punter's $45,000 bet on Knights Brett Keeble, Newcastle Herald | October 29, 2008 http://www.leaguehq.com.au/news/news/punters-1million-bet-on-knights/2008/10/29/1224956101832.html A NSW punter stands to win almost $1 million if the Knights win the 2009 NRL premiership after a record plunge with TAB Sportsbet yesterday. TAB Sportsbet media manager Glenn Munsie said the $45,000 wager on Newcastle at $23 was placed at lunchtime yesterday by "a regular NSW-based large football and general sports customer". "To win $990,000, it's the biggest individual rugby league bet we've ever taken, for any season, in the history of the business, and we've been going since 1998," Munsie told The Herald yesterday. "We've had multis that have been bigger but this is a single bet, to win that amount. "This is one winner." It is understood the punter kept his potential winnings below $1 million because the TAB needs special government authority to accept a single bet that could net more than $1 million. Newcastle were at $23 on the 10th line of betting when the 2009 market went up this month. In the wake of yesterday's bet, the Knights have been wound into $15 alongside the Roosters and behind defending premiers Manly ($4), Melbourne ($4.50), Brisbane and Cronulla (both $9) and the Cowboys and Warriors (both $13). Munsie said that until yesterday's huge wager, a total of $184 had been bet on the Knights to win the title, placing them 11th out of the 16 NRL contenders in terms of money invested. "Away from this bet, the biggest bet we've taken on the premiership for next year is $3000 on Manly at $4, which puts the $45,000 on Newcastle into perspective," he said. "These aren't bets that come along every week, but we were prepared to write it. "We think the loss of Danny Buderus will be too big to overcome, and with Buderus no longer there they become more reliant on a player like Kurt Gidley. "Without Buderus, they need to find a new dummy half and a new leader of the forwards, and they're just not the type of side that is going to dominate the premiership. "We look at them as a side akin to Cronulla this year. "At best, they'll be hovering around the top four or five, but they're not going to be a side you'll look at and say they're going to burst out of the blocks and win 10 in a row." Munsie said the punting public had shown little interest in the Knights since the final years of Andrew Johns's glittering career. "Since he retired, they haven't been a team where customers have been willing to jump out of trees to be on them," he said. "You're not going to discover another Andrew Johns, but I think customers have been waiting to see whether there's a matchwinner they can rely on." Munsie said the $45,000 bet rang alarm bells that the Knights must have been poised to make a significant splash in the player pool by signing at least two high-profile stars the calibre of Sonny Bill Williams or Greg Bird. "When you take a bet like this, you look for reasons," he said. But Newcastle strategic development manager Keith Onslow laughed off such a suggestion. Onslow said the Knights were close to the limit of their salary cap.