“I don’t know how they take those hits and keep going. I don’t know how they take the big marks. And I really don’t know what I’m doing standing here on the home turn at Flemington while a herd of thoroughbreds thunders towards me.

We simply couldn't help opening three betting accounts while putting this pic together. Oh, and can somebody buy us lunch today please?

“But I do know what punters want. You want to bet with a nice, clean-cut handsome young bloke who doesn’t look like one of the gnarled old bookies of yesteryear with a pork pie hat and an old-school leather satchel…”

Ahem. We interrupt this crudely paraphrased Tom Waterhouse ad to bring you news of the glamourisation of the sports betting industry, a clever marketing trend which is making gambling ever more appealing to the impressionable young.

The bookies of yesteryear now seem like seedy tiled pubs with soggy beer mats. Today’s breed are like hip, small bars with martinis and craft beers. You can spend every cent with them and not wake up on Monday morning feeling irreversibly sordid. In fact, you’ll probably want to do it all again next weekend.

If you watch sport on TV, there is no avoiding the new breed of bookie. If it’s not Tom Waterhouse, it’s that bubbly vivacious blonde Jaimee Rodgers spruiking the wonders of the TAB Sportsbet live markets.

Then horror of horrors! Who should bob up on our screens during the ad breaks in the footy? None other than Samuel L. Jackson, aka the coolest dude ever to set foot on the earth, or on a plane with snakes, or anywhere really.

Jackson must surely earn enough to buy diamond tipped fries to enjoy alongside his Big Kahuna burgers, yet there he is as the face of some punting outfit called Bet365.

Let’s revisit his famous Pulp Fiction monologue to see how it stacks up alongside his urging the average Aussie to blow their wages on the Fremantle Dockers this weekend.

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children…”

See, now isn’t Jules doing the exact opposite of this in these ads? Anyway, back to the monologue…

“And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know My name is the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon thee.”

Yeah, whatever.

The point of all this is that Mr L Jackson is the kinda dude who can influence young Australians. The guy is about as cool as cool gets. If he says something’s cool, people will listen. Imagine a cigarette ad where, I don’t know, Lady Gaga or somebody said woohoo, smoke this. Same deal.

Of course, we haven’t had ciggie ads for years and indeed we soon won’t have ciggies with any branding whatsoever. Yet the sports bookies are free to sex it up to the max. As the old advertising adage goes, they’re selling the sizzle, not the sausage.

There is of course the argument that the nanny state has poked its nose into enough corners of our life. If people are going to bet, they’re going to bet. Let suckers be suckers. That’s the classic libertarian line and it has some merit.

The flipside is that the nanny state seems to poke its nose everywhere but where it’s needed. Less people smoke than ever before, drink driving is down, yet still the well-funded lobby groups maintain their antipathy towards alcohol, tobacco and the pokies.

Bugger all research has been done on sports betting addiction, but this much you can bet on.

Most young people aren’t interested in the pokies. They bet on racing and sports via their smartphones, which means they don’t have to duck off to some dark dingy sealed-off room to feed the habit.

They have betting accounts with companies they feel an affinity with, like that Tom Slaughterhouse or whatever his name is.

I don’t know how those boofy rugby league players take the big hits either. And I really don’t know how a new generation of gamblers will take the hits to their bank balance.

Comments on this post close just before the first race at Dapto Dogs, or at 8pm AEST.

Most commented


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    • TChong says:

      07:22am | 12/09/12

      Give your money to young Tom- because he is such a chipper chap.
      Bedecked in Aramani, and a Rolex : profit from the very punters that he is one such matey terms with.
      As an old would -be jockey, and strapper, I still get wry amusement at how racing , one of the most exploitive of all industries, has been dressed up as something noble and sophisticated.

    • stringalong says:

      01:28pm | 12/09/12

      Every time I see Junior Waterhouse standing there with his nice clean fingernails and sooky face I just about throw up! All he needs to add is “Come in suckers” and the picture of a Internet Parasite would be complete

    • DG says:

      03:56pm | 12/09/12

      Everytime I see Robbie Waterhouse all I can think of is 2 words…........Fine Cotton

      Never will he get my punting dollar

    • Dan says:

      07:34am | 12/09/12

      Don’t know how anybody gets to bet with the TAB. That Jaimee person is incomprehensible. I’m not at all sure which language she’s speaking (but she’s so bloody ubiquitous, I know who she is).

    • Baldrick says:

      07:52am | 12/09/12

      You mean she can live on land or in the water? :p

    • scott says:

      10:31am | 12/09/12

      I think I am in love with her.  Leave her alone!

    • sunny says:

      12:03pm | 12/09/12

      Baldrick nah I think you’re thinking of ‘ambitious’. ‘Ubiquitous’ means she grips the road well in high speed turns.

    • Kelly says:

      12:08pm | 12/09/12

      @Baldrick - LMAO!!!
      Ps - Couldn’t agree more with this one Anthony - they can sell it how they like, but it’s makeup on a pig.

    • M says:

      07:35am | 12/09/12

      No sympathy what so ever for those who lose too much money to gambling.

    • Consequences says:

      09:49am | 12/09/12

      I do have sympathy for the friends and families of those who lose too much money for gambling.

    • M says:

      10:31am | 12/09/12

      So do i. What’s your point?

    • Just Saying says:

      01:53pm | 12/09/12

      @ M, couldnt reply to you on the drug topic as I got busy and it closed.

      So you assume that just because YOU want pot legalised that it will be the only drug that is legalized?  What about the other soft core drugs?

      When I was young and stupid and lived my life in a daze thinking (if you can call it that) that smoking pot was ok, I was never once offered any harder drugs by anyone I bought my pot from.
      In fact I can tell you that pot is a large scale time intensive low value drug to produce and that almost all of the large criminal groups have shifted thier focus to the less space intensive, faster reproduced higher value drugs like crystal meth. To them it is all about the profit.
      Where as pot is more a niche market. I say this having been a smoker and having a good friend who is a Detective in the organised crime task force with whom I have had at length discussion on the matter.

      You admit you like to get home and chill with a joint and sometimes a drink. Now ask yourself this how soon after you walk through the door till you get stoned? Straight away? An hour or two? after dinner? Do you have kids? Is it something you do in front of them? If yes why? If not why not?

      To be honest I really don’t care what you answers are… Why?
      Because you don’t have to justify your thoughts or action to me, only to yourself. Just as I don’t have to justigy my thoughts actions and beliefs to you, I am the sum of my life experience not yours.

    • colin says:

      07:43am | 12/09/12

      Gambling. Wretched low-brow behaviour idiotically following the senseless idea that random events - somehow - are predictable (in direct contradiction to the laws of probability) and become even more so when you bet money on them..!

      But, hey, this is Orshtraya and we value our good old digger, cobber mates having a beer, a ciggie, and a bet, don’t we..?

    • M says:

      08:19am | 12/09/12

      You may think it low brow, but I actually get a massive kick out of the odd game of poker. Generally, I’m not a fan of gambling, it’s one of the few vices of men which largely does not appeal to me, but poker is different in that you have some influence in the outcome of the win besides luck. It’s very challenging to be good at poker.

      I still have no sympathy for those who lose money hand over fist to things like internet gambling or the pokies. What that says is “I am a child who is incapable of excercising self control.”

    • iansand says:

      08:38am | 12/09/12

      But call it derivatives trading or the forex market and all kinds of toffy people can do it without embarrassment.

    • M says:

      09:16am | 12/09/12

      With other people’s money to boot!

    • colin says:

      09:22am | 12/09/12

      @iansand 08:38am | 12/09/12

      “But call it derivatives trading or the forex market and all kinds of toffy people can do it without embarrassment…”

      Not so; it’s still gambling. Even if it is done by cashed-up bogans in suits.

    • colin says:

      09:31am | 12/09/12

      M 08:19am | 12/09/12

      Well, it’s not the card games themselves that I object to; I often play myself. It’s when people start betting on the outcome that puts me off. Probably more for the fact that it adds an extra dimension of pecuniary stress that interferes with the enjoyment of the game.

    • Mahhrat says:

      09:44am | 12/09/12

      @iansand - more internets to you.  Gold comment.

      @M:  I loke poker as well.  Strangely, I seem to play it better face to face than online.

    • acotrel says:

      09:52am | 12/09/12

      ’ following the senseless idea that random events - somehow - are predictable (in direct contradiction to the laws of probability) and become even more so when you bet money on them..!

      Poker machines are supposed to be random - bullshit ! The most difficult thing to do with a computer is to generate a random number, and why would you bother when you can shape it to get a better result ?
      If you want to gamble, play two-up !

    • HappyG says:

      10:21am | 12/09/12

      Better ban it then Colin because you don’t like it….....it’s beneath your superior self. Oh to be as smug, as righteous, as up ones self as you. Now would be a good time to have a go at the memory of our soldiers like you’ve done before. Must make you feel so much better than everyone else.

    • M says:

      10:33am | 12/09/12

      Hey Acotrel, did you know poker machines are legally required to pay out 87% of what is put into them? That’s part of how they get you hooked, lots of little wins.

    • colin says:

      10:46am | 12/09/12

      @acotrel 09:52am | 12/09/12

      Oh I agree with your statement on poker machines, Acotrel; the house ALWAYS wins.


      HappyG 10:21am | 12/09/12

      Having a nice day, HappyG? That’s good grin

    • Tim says:

      11:30am | 12/09/12

      But Colin,
      shouldn’t we be spending as much money as possible to help these poor souls who can’t help their addiction?

      No amount of money would be too much if it was one of your children.

    • Punters Pal says:

      11:42am | 12/09/12

      Yes, Colin - all this gambling is done by cashed up or not so cashed up bogans and it is so below you. How low brow.

      Do tell us how you spend your money? Sitting in some cafe or small bar in Surry Hills, drinking $18 cocktails and tell your friends: “how ghastly those proles, spending their money on gambling and all that.” You sound like a right tosser

    • colin says:

      11:53am | 12/09/12

      @Tim 11:30am | 12/09/12

      Gee, Tim, let’s see:

      1) my child has been run over by a runaway combine harvester and only Professor Von Stitchum can save him. But Von Stitchum must be flown out from Austria and the operation will cost $100,000 dollars. OK, where do I sell my kidney..?

      2) Pete Plebian gambles away most of his money on the “pokies”, drinks a large amount of what’s left, and lives in a Housing Commission flat with his de facto and seven children (two of which are his). OK, so how do I get to the nearest exit..?

      I agree with M; “I still have no sympathy for those who lose money hand over fist to things like internet gambling or the pokies. What that says is “I am a child who is incapable of excercising self control.”

    • colin says:

      12:14pm | 12/09/12

      @Punters Pal 11:42am | 12/09/12

      I don’t drink, I don’t frequent cafes in Surrey Hills, I don’t call people “Proles”...and you calling me a “Right tosser” does nothing to ameliorate the fact that you are one of those bogans that you so vehemently defend.

      And I hope that your day is as wonderful as mine, thanks “Punters Pal” grin

    • Tim says:

      12:48pm | 12/09/12

      But won’t someone think of the children?
      They need help to be cared for while their parent suffers with such a terrible addiction.
      We should triple their welfare payments, just to help out.

      Why don’t you have some empathy for these poor souls, you heartless beast?

    • M says:

      12:49pm | 12/09/12

      I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t drink for moral reasons rather than medical reasons.

    • Tubesteak says:

      12:55pm | 12/09/12

      Surely you see the irony in going on about bogans and then making the biggest bogan mistake of all in thinking that trading is gambling. If you knew what traders do you wouldn’t call it gambling. Gambling is basing things on chance such as a roll of the dice. Trading has little to do with chance. More to do with valuations based on available data and resultant supply-demand conditions.

    • colin says:

      01:08pm | 12/09/12

      @M 12:49pm | 12/09/12

      “I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t drink for moral reasons rather than medical reasons.”

      Spoken like a True Bogan. Aren’t you proud..?

    • Punters Pal says:

      02:46pm | 12/09/12

      There you go again, Colin. Branding other people bogans when you don’t know who I am or what kind of person I am. You must feel so superior over great unwashed. It is easy to see from your posts you are tosser of the highest order.

    • Mahhrat says:

      07:51am | 12/09/12

      The only real issue I have with sports gambling is how it continues after a contest has started, and perhaps a few of the more outlandish “combinations” or bet options (like first goal kicker.  seriously?)

      Once a contest is started, bets should be completed.  I shouldn’t be able to bet at half time, because the emotional investment in the match clouds the ability to responsibly place a bet.

    • Alfie says:

      08:05am | 12/09/12

      “If you mind losing more than you enjoy winning, don’t bet”. Clement Freud.

    • KH says:

      08:10am | 12/09/12

      Adults watching sport and seeing these ads should probably know better - my concern is that kids are growing up seeing these ads, and even having betting incorporated into the commentary of the game - and basically learning that it is ‘normal’ to bet money on sports games.  The social conditioning of children is the most disturbing aspect of this new scourge in advertising.

    • M says:

      08:57am | 12/09/12

      Did you ever think about maybe parenting or stopping them from watching too much TV? Teaching them that gambling, like all vices, can be enjoyable if it’s done responsibly and in moderation?

    • Rose says:

      10:31am | 12/09/12

      My eldest son got a gambling account and I was quite concerned because he kept winning. Fortunately all his bets were quite small but as each bet came back a winner he seemed more and more excited and drawn in to the web. After a couple of weeks he seemed to get more and more adventurous and started losing more than he won, I got more and more pleased (quietly) each time he lost as he got more and more frustrated. I am now happy that he worked out that regular gambling is a mugs game and only puts on the occasional bet on the footy.
      It is concerning that betting is becoming more and more enticing with ads and all the new ‘novelty’ bets (first kick, first goal etc) but parents, family and peers have a responsibility to provide a balancing view, without getting too preachy, to counter the attraction of these new betting sites and companies.

    • Anthony Sharwood

      Anthony Sharwood says:

      11:36am | 12/09/12

      KH thanks for that comment and thanx too Rose for sharing that personal anecdote.

      M, I don’t think you can blame bad parenting. If you and your family watch a single football match, or even half of one at the moment, you will be subjected to endless betting ads.

      Also, to those many people on this thread saying idiots will be idiots, I acknowledged that line in my sixth last paragraph.

      But surely we can all agree that this is no longer a case of saying “gambling is bad, mmmkay” but that we now have an advertising landscape which is targeting kids’ minds, and that, as mentioned, we have little research other than the type of anecdotes Rose provided, as to how effective this targeted advertising is.

      My guess is very effective.

    • M says:

      11:44am | 12/09/12

      None of my family watches football smile We’re euros, Soccer is the only game of any importance.

      I don’t think we should ban advertising. That only hides the problem. Much better to put money into programmes that treat all forms of addiction. Education and prevention are better than cure or sticking your head in the sand.

    • kaff says:

      02:02pm | 12/09/12

      And it’s not just on TV where kids get exposed to these things.  Go to the footy (a range of them) and if the Stadium isn’t named after a betting company, there’s good odds that a betting company will be on the shirts, shorts, or sidings; not to mention occasional ads on the big screen.

      So you can’t just turn off the TV - it’s even at the game.

    • antman says:

      05:10pm | 12/09/12

      Patersons Stadium.

      Says it all, really.

    • Tubesteak says:

      08:11am | 12/09/12

      A fool and his money are soon parted.

      Deservedly so.

    • M says:

      08:47am | 12/09/12

      It is morally wrong to allow suckers to keep their money.

    • Tubesteak says:

      11:35am | 12/09/12

      Allowing suckers to keep their money is as stupid as giving money to poor people. I cannot conscionably reward failure.

    • Blind Freddy says:

      12:30pm | 12/09/12


      . . . . and everyone who is poor is a failure in your one dimensional world.

    • Tubesteak says:

      01:40pm | 12/09/12

      Blind Freddy
      Poor people are losers. Money isn’t everything. It’s how you keep score.

    • dibatag says:

      08:26am | 12/09/12

      It should read , i am totaly unemployable in any other job and i have 5 generations of dodgy racing connectoins experiance to call on so bet with me mug.

    • Dave Charlesworth says:

      11:12am | 12/09/12

      So true, pretty much what I think ever time I see young Tom on the Telly.

      Little wanker.

    • Brian says:

      08:52am | 12/09/12

      At least the bookie will give you a return on your money if you’re on a winner.
      A politician won’t.

    • acotrel says:

      10:12am | 12/09/12

      But you get great odds when you bet on Abbott and Joyce !

    • Anna C says:

      09:29am | 12/09/12

      Tom Waterhouse is a frigging disgrace.  He should go and get himself a proper job instead of feeding off the misery of others.

    • John from Vaucluse says:

      09:46am | 12/09/12

      Mmmm ......Jaimee Rodgers (with apologies to Homer Simpson)

    • PW says:

      12:00pm | 12/09/12

      Yep, this girl is cute all right, and talented too. She’s able to display the absolute maximum amount of tooth enamel while remaining more or less understandable. Still not enough to make me want to have a bet, though.

    • TheRealDave says:

      09:48am | 12/09/12

      Ahh Gambling, much like Speed Cameras -  a tax on moronic stupidity.

    • colin says:

      01:15pm | 12/09/12

      @TheRealDave 09:48am | 12/09/12

      “...a tax on moronic stupidity.”

      As opposed to a tax on Genius Stupidity..?

      Ah, if only I could collect a tax on redundant statements; I’d be on the Gravy Train for life.

    • acotrel says:

      09:55am | 12/09/12

      I always buy a lottery ticket each week.  You have to have something going for you, even if the odds against winning are ridiculous.

    • Michael S says:

      10:38am | 12/09/12

      I’ve bought them too on occasions, usually when there’s a massive jackpot on offer.
      You’re paying for a dream of being filthy rich rather than a realistic chance - but it’s a nice dream to have….

    • M says:

      11:38am | 12/09/12

      I play the lotto big pots as well. A lot of people say it’s a tax on idiots, but you know what? I don’t care. $17 isn’t much in the scheme of things, and it’s nice to spend a day or so thinking about what I’ll be doing when I win obscene amounts of money for nothing.

    • SZF says:

      10:58am | 12/09/12

      The issues of problem gambling aside (which is not to say they aren’t serious), my concern is the increase in exotic betting (first points scored via penalty, etc). Players can be now be offered big money (think Ryan Tandy, Hansie Cronje, etc) to influence minor aspects of the game that don’t affect the final result. But once you get into bed with these sort of people, it’s a slippery slope until all of a sudden you’re throwing games and the sport’s credibility is tarnished.

      Professional sports should take a leaf out of Major League Baseball’s book - any player or official in the sport found to have engaged in gambling on baseball is subject to a lifetime ban, no second chances.

    • Baloo says:

      11:10am | 12/09/12

      Tom Waterhouse says we should bet with him because of his betting knowledge from the simple fact of being a Waterhouse.. he basically says it’s in his DNA. How does he say it with such a straight face?

    • Caedrel says:

      11:49am | 12/09/12

      Probably with the same chutzpah when he says “But I know what punters want”, when he really means “But I know how to make money off punters”. I’m constantly amazed people can’t make that utterly logical connection. How on earth do people think Tom can afford this ad?

    • Michael S says:

      11:50am | 12/09/12

      Considering two of those generations were warned off racecourses for 15 years because of the Fine Cotton ring-in affair. Do punters want scandal?

    • AFR says:

      11:52am | 12/09/12

      Cough….Fine Cotton…. cough….

    • Baloo says:

      12:29pm | 12/09/12

      I just love the part of the ad where it shows him turn to people and pointing as if he’s frantically managing a team.

      Yeah, you’d think he’d want to leave out his ancestors when he is advertising his website.

    • Paul Mac says:

      11:55am | 12/09/12

      My Gran, who enjoyed a punt ($2 max) and enjoyed going to the track, enjoyed the odd fiver at the club on the pokies with a brandy gave us kids the only advice we ever needed ” The punter goes home on the bus and the bookie goes home in a Mercedes”. Keep it in moderation if you want a bit of fun the house always wins.

    • Paul Mac says:

      11:55am | 12/09/12

      My Gran, who enjoyed a punt ($2 max) and enjoyed going to the track, enjoyed the odd fiver at the club on the pokies with a brandy gave us kids the only advice we ever needed ” The punter goes home on the bus and the bookie goes home in a Mercedes”. Keep it in moderation if you want a bit of fun - the house always wins.

    • Matt says:

      12:32pm | 12/09/12

      Spot on, Ant. I have personal experience with a mate being sucked into gambling not on pokies or roullette, but at home on the couch, on his phone, with Sky Racing or Fox Footy on the telly, betting his future away on footy, cricket, nags and dishlickers. I’m personally very uncomfortable with the amount of gambling advertising in the media at the moment.

    • M says:

      01:11pm | 12/09/12

      Yes, it’s all the media’s fault. If they didn’t put the adds on TV my mate would NEVER have gambled. BAN EVERYTHING!!!


    • Audra Blue says:

      01:47pm | 12/09/12

      The can jazz up all forms of gambling as much as they like, but I will never bite.  I just don’t have the personality that gambling attracts.

    • SM says:

      02:43pm | 12/09/12

      My late father, who was a bookmaker early in life, had similar advice for me - Only ever bet with money you can afford to lose.

      I’d be a lot better off now if I’d heeded those words way back then

    • expat says:

      03:03pm | 12/09/12

      Ahh but the average person gambles more than they think. There is a pretty good chance that you superannuation is tied up in shares, reliant on capital growth to generate profit. Reliance on capital growth for any investment is as good as playing a game of blackjack, you can count the cards if you know what you are doing, otherwise best of luck.
      Housing investments are a prime example, the arrogance of some who buy property because it can “never lose” according to many. I think a few people are in for a rude shock.

    • Inky says:

      04:54pm | 12/09/12

      I’m still reminded of when an online children’s game I used to play had a whole bunch of its games removed in Australia because of their resemblance of gambling. The nannystate against gambling exists as well, but only to stop 12 year olds from earning neopoints by spinning the Wheel of Fortune.


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