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Professional punter awarded $50,000 in defamation dispute with The Age

Controversial gambling identity and former brothel owner Eddie Hayson has been awarded $50,000 in damages after successfully suing The Age for defamation over an article accusing him of match-fixing.

Mr Hayson, a professional gambler, sued the masthead for defamation over an article in the print edition of The Age on June 3, 2016, headlined “Match-fixing link to gambler”.

Professional gambler Eddie Hayson has won a defamation battle with The Age.

Professional gambler Eddie Hayson has won a defamation battle with The Age.Credit:Andrew Meares

The publication conceded the article conveyed two defamatory claims, namely that he was involved in a “criminal scheme” with a jockey to match-fix a South Sydney Rabbitohs versus Manly Sea Eagles rugby league match in 2015 and paid six players $50,000 each to underperform so that he could make substantial profits by betting on that match. The Age did not plead a defence of truth.

Mr Hayson denied the allegations in the witness box and Federal Court Justice Robert Bromwich said in a judgment on Thursday that he “found no reason to doubt MrHayson’s evidence on this topic, especially as it was not challenged in cross examination”.

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