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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Flutter failure for Yarrawonga punters

Around 600 Yarrawonga people are believed to have been caught up in the collapse of a punters club that saw local members lose up to $73 million.

December 10, 2013 4:08pm

The collapse, as reported in a metropolitan newspaper this week, suggests the club had up to 1000 members and, with 600 of those allegedly based locally, names Yarrawonga as the “epicentre” of the secret club.

According to newspaper reports, the architect of the punters club was Melbourne identity and gambling guru Bill Vlahos.

Mr Vlahos, who is reportedly being chased for millions in lost money by members of the punters club, received death threats after he appeared in a NSW court last week and was the victim of an assault and car bombing on the weekend.

The club involved backing horses in Melbourne and Sydney each Saturday, laying bets through an overseas conduit, who promised higher returns than Australian bookmakers.

It is believed the club relied on up to 20 syndicate chiefs who in turn recruited their own members.

Local high profile racing identities Alan and Matt Tripp were contacted by the Chronicle about the fall of the punters club.

Alan and Matt confirmed they were not at all associated with the punters club.

Matt said he had always recommended people do not get involved with such syndicates that promise big returns.

“I feel for the people who got involved,” Matt said.

“I hope those affected will find an outcome soon.”

Speculation the betting syndicate may have had links with the Yarrawonga Football Club was denied by President Glenn Brear who said the club had no involvement.

“It is ludicrous to think the club is in anyway involved.  The club has had no involvement in this punters club in the past, present or future,” he said.

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