Mark LaFrancois

Conflict of Interest in Halifax Ultimate?

by Mark LaFrancois
March 2, 2007

Recent accusations of irregularities in Halifax Ultimate have left many people wondering if their freedom to bet large sums of money on indoor league games is in peril. Unnamed sources within HURL have recently come forward to Broken! with a laundry list of unsubstantiated claims that clearly point an accusatory finger at one HURL member deep within "the seedy underbelly of the Halifax Ultimate gaming establishment".

Before we enter the murky waters of ethics and gambling in Halifax Ultimate, let us list the undisputed facts about this member of HURL. He:

Is there a conflict of interest here? It is certainly possible to answer this with another question: Who's to say what is right and what is wrong in this nebulous world of loose ethical standards in which we live? Many experts are quick to weigh in on this topic, but it is just as likely that you will find an authority on one side as on the other.

In a carefully written reponse to my questions concerning this debate, the office of Ed Fong had this to say: "Fongtron Industries and its affiliated conglomerates applaud the entrepreneurial spirit shown by Stardust-Beasy, including its weekly lines posted on HURL Pick 'em. Moreover, we are deeply disgusted by the sickening abomination created by its corruption of trust." It is not clear what to make of this statement, but contractual obligations with Fongtron Industries require its printing. (Note: Mr. Fong misspelled pretty much every second word and thus rendered the entire sentence nearly unreadable; no misspellings were left in the text).

It is not just tax auditors with bum knees who have strong opinions on the subject -- this debate has reached much larger proportions. For example, Dr. Q. Stanley Steinberg of the Canadian Ethical Standards Council commented on this matter during a telephone interview this morning: "Just last week I laid two hundred dollars on Not Terrible to cover a plus-ten-point-five spread and they gave me nothing but a push on my wager with two other matches. I mean, even if Terrible had covered, I'd still have to give Stardust-Beasy their ten percent vigorish!"

Dr. Steinberg added, "[The] next time I parlay a treble like that, I'm going against Terrible and then I'll go for the trifecta with whatever two lines from Stardust-Beasy offer the best risk premium." Indeed, Dr. Steinberg.

Thus we come to yet another layer in this onion - just how have Stardust-Beasy and HURL Pick 'em changed the lives of the everyday expert on ethics and social morals? Perhaps it requires a greater authority to assuage the rhetoric being printed and spoken on this topic. When asked to offer his opinion on the matter, esteemed social commentator and Okayplayers standout Mark TeKamp smiled before replying, "Right on."

In conclusion, it appears that we are no closer to solving this dilemma. Is there really a conflict of interest associated with the Stardust-Beasy Corporation? The answers are shrouded in mystery.

There will be an open-forum discussion on this issue tonight at Charlie's Billiards Club on Cunard Street in Halifax. Panelists will include Dr. Steinberg, Greg VanSlyke of HURL, Mandelyn Tinwink of the Justice in Ultimate Gambling Society (JUGS), and Kirk Cameron of Growing Pains.