Australians love the punt, perhaps more than any other place in the world. All countries have gamblers, but on a per capita basis, Australia is right up there and the punters span all demographics of the Australian population, from the newly minted who have only just turned the legal age of 18, to the blokes in the pensioners’ homes who have plenty of time and resources.
It stands to reason, then, that some punters achieve notoriety for one reason or another. Some of that notoriety can be the negative sort, involving schemes to somehow pull the wool over the eyes of the bookies, the government and fellow punters.
There is also notoriety of the positive sort, where a punter assumes a larger-than-life persona, achieving almost mythical status through a combination of bold betting and the sort of luck that equates to extravagant winnings.
These notorious punters are appealing because they have a certain Robin Hood aspect to them. They rob from the rich, the bookies, and they give to the poor.
Well, not so much that last part. They rob from the bookies and give to themselves.
Fast Eddie Hayson could fill both those categories and probably a few more.
He has been successful to the extent that in 2019, Eddie Hayson net worth was estimated in the millions, even as seemingly thousands of people are trying to collect money from him.
Here are some specifics on Fast Eddie Hayson.
A colourful nickname seems to be a requisite for a famous punter.
Judging from his pictures, Eddie Hayson does not appear particularly fast. Still, there is no truth to the suggestion that his given legal name is Rapid Edward Hayson and that Fast Eddie is simply a diminutive variation of the proper name.
It could be that he acquired the name from his exploits as the former owner of a brothel, in which case, “fast” is probably not the best trait with which to be labeled.
It might be possible that Fast Eddie came about because Hayson was at one time losing money fast and was in deep debt. Running from debt collectors certainly adds wings to our feet.
Whatever the reason, it is a good nickname and has stuck for years. The moniker “Fast Eddie” would work nicely for a professional boxer, another group that enjoys creative and colourful nicknames.
One of Fast Eddie Hayson’s early feats that achieved negative notoriety, to some, at least, was the way he allegedly moved the odds on a favourite in a greyhound race at Gold Coast, moving the dog out from short favourtism to $14. Hayson then proceeded to back the dog, cautiously, so as not to reel it in, by submitting bets that appeared to come from a variety of sources. Hayson’s target was a South Australian bookie named Curly Seal.
Like many bookies, Seal cried foul when Hayson’s dog came in, providing Hayson with a $700,000 payday. Seal then changed from being Curly Seal to Broke Seal.
The episode apparently secured Eddie Hayson’s spot in the realm of the big punters and big punts.
Has anyone other than us noticed that the bookies seldom raise any objections when a punt loses?
Fast Eddie Hayson, after a year of legal wrangling that included an investigation, collected most of the $700,000 Curly Seal owed him.
By our rudimentary maths, it would seem that Eddie Hayson had $50,000 in play on the race. Whether he had anything to do with the outcome of the race is not known, but it would not be the last instance of intense scrutiny being directed in Hayson’s direction.
Other Hayson Controversies
Then, there was the time Fast Eddie got involved in a betting controversy that involved a bikie who owed money claiming that Hayson was involved in a NRL match-fixing scheme.
The bikie invoked Hayson’s name into the story in order to make it seem more plausible.
Hayson would tell reporters, "They threw my name into embellish it. The fix never existed. They took his money and got what they were owed. I've never fixed a match in my life. Never. I've never bribed a player or even attempted to interfere in any way whatsoever in the result of an NRL game or any other sport."
Those claims stretch the bounds of credulity, but Hayson did go on to say something that should have come down on the tablets when Moses came down from the mountain. He related how he only bet Win or “On the line,” never once taking a risk on anything exotic, such as first goal or first try scorer.
That said, Hayson is a huge racing punter, whose big plunges and connections to the inner circle belie Hayson’s claim that he stays away from bets that involve the sort of uncertainty race betting holds.
If more punters would show that sort of discipline, assuming that Eddie Hayson was being truthful, there would be a serious hole in the bookies’ bags.
Hayson was known to bet codes other than racing. A few years back, 2016, he was said to have had a bet on the Parramatta Eels to win every game in the Telstra 2016 Premiership competition.
Hayson was apparently attempting to follow the tactic that gives bookies a decided edge when it comes to making a profit. The edge comes from participating in any and all markets on which punts might be made. Some punts win, some lose, but so long as the profits from the winners are greater than the losses from the losers; a business can remain profitable and solvent.
To make the point, the 2016 Parramatta Eels finished the season with 13 wins against 11 loses, so Hayson made a profit, assuming that he bet the same amount on each game. Thirteen wins should have qualified Parramatta for the 2016 NRL finals, but the league deducted 12 competition points from the club for what were described as gross long-term salary cap breaches.
Therefore, if Hayson was indeed betting only head-to-head and lines, he came out slightly ahead despite the fate Parramatta suffered in 2016.
For those who appreciate candor, Eddie Hayson admitted to using third parties to place bets. One reason he mentioned is that the TAB had banned him. Hayson spoke of the unfortunate reality many punters have experienced.
"Sometimes people ring you up and offer you an account,” he said. “You know, depending if you do well or not, sometimes they close those accounts down in a week."
While denying that he had ever participated in match or race fixing, Hayson alledgely admitted that his clientele at the brothel included footy players, jockeys and police officers, and alledgely some of whom were offered free sex.
Corporate bookmakers, no longer permitted to offer sign up bonuses, might want to look into Hayson’s business model.
Lingering NRL Controversy
Hayson was still under scrutiny in 2019, when he appeared in court to answer allegations of NRL match fixing. His skill as a punter apparently contributed heavily to his court performance. He actually sobbed in the witness box when asked to describe how he was affected by the reports that he had fixed two NRL games.
We assume that those were the crocodile tears of the falsely accused. In our cases, tears shed over punts are seldom tears of joy.
Hayson Success Fuels Envy
Not all admire Fast Eddie Hayson.
Retired professional boxer Jeff Fenech would seem to be in that corner.
Jeff Fenech claims to have loaned Fast Eddie Hayson almost $5 million and even took out a note on his home to get funds to advance to Hayson.
Fenech did not know Hayson well, but he was persuaded by a chap that was the former big honcho in a chain of adult stores.
Now, there’s a source of sage advice. Forget about banks and such; just ask the porn shop guy.
Fenech admitted his stupidity, but said that without the influence of the adult store figure, he would not have lent Hayson the money.
"I haven't been punched in the head that many times," Fenech said to a reporter from the Sydney Morning Herald.
Fenech lent the money to Hayson over a period of years under the assumption that he would be repaid when Hayson sold his brothel in Camperdown.
Another sports figure who had the misfortune to alledgely lend Eddie Hayson money was retired Newcastle Knight and Canberra Raider prop Luke Davico.
When asked in court if he owed Davico money, Hayson replied, "That's correct, yeah ... I've paid him back, the whole amount."
Luke Davico showed the court two cheques totaling $350,000, cheques that bounced higher than the opening bounce of an AFL match.
Scales of Justice Tilt Both Directions
The defendant became the plaintiff early in 2020 when Hayson sued The Age over an article published that Hayson considered defamatory.
It was related to the 2016 match-fixing incident and ran under the headline, “Match-Fixing Link to Gambler.”
Fast Eddie Hayson could have gone after the Sydney Morning Herald as well, as the newspaper had published a similar article that went into greater detail on the same day.
Hayson was awarded $50,000 in damages by Federal Court Justice Robert Bromwich, saying that he "Found no reason to doubt Mr. Hayson's evidence on this topic, especially as it was not challenged in cross examination.”
The entire sordid affair seems to have stemmed from a 2006 NRL bet where Hayson had heavily backed unders Auckland to beat Newcastle after learning before the bookies that key Newcastle player Andrew Johns would not be playing due to a neck injury.
Yes, apparently rugby players have necks. Short, thick, barely visible, but necks all the same.
Hayson Connection to Prominent Sports Figures
The NRL match-fixing controversy might not have gained the traction that it did were it not for Hayson’s close friendship with key NRL players, including Brett Stewart and Kieran Foran.
Fast Eddie Hayson came away with a new nickname, bestowed on him by Manly club officials.
“Eddie Everywhere” they called him. Hayson was often seen around Manly in hotels having a punt with Foran, Stewart, Anthony Watmough and Andrew Johns.
“Eddie Everywhere” lacks the sophistication of “Fast Eddie,” but it also lacks imagination, as alliterative nicknames are lazy and inept.
Allegedly, Hayson and Foran were seen together in Brisbane at one point, one day after Foran’s TAB wagering account put on $75,000 worth of bets in a two-hour period.
Mere coincidence perhaps, but it was not the first time Hayson had sought out inside information and it would seem that something or someone had an influence on Foran plunging such a big amount. Since Hayson admitted to using proxies to place bets, it is possible that he persuaded Kieran Foran to place the punts in exchange for something of equal or greater value, but the truth, or the full extent of the story, might have to wait until either Hayson or Foran gets to that stage of life where they seek absolution for past deeds.
One punter who claims to have known Hayson said that Hayson’s charisma was at the heart of Hayson’s appeal.
"You might start off with $5 bets but you ended up making $5000 bets on information Eddie claimed to have received from this trainer or that jockey," he claimed.
Objectively, it is hard to blame Hayson for another person’s greed.
Fast and Everywhere Eddie Hayson would probably be well advised to stay out of the spotlight and be more careful when picking his friends and business associates, but he seems to enjoy the spotlight his flamboyance attracts.
There is some potential that all the negative publicity is designed to divert attention from what he is really up to, but there is no credible evidence for this case and this is not an accusation, simple speculation.
It is the sort of mystery that adds spice to the tart and for many, ourselves included, and Fast Eddie Hayson will always be good for a headline and a story.