If your household is anything like mine, I’ve got five bucks that says your kids now know a hell of a lot more than they did about gambling before this summer of cricket on Channel Nine.
This year’s cricket coverage became one of the most effective vehicles for obsessive gambling the nation has seen.
I am a long way from being a wowser, I enjoy the odd punt and am a frequent and enthusiastic visitor to the greyhounds, always with the kids in tow. But the nature of the outlays being offered on Nine through its new commercial betting partner has not only been incessant, but a bit of an insult to everyone’s intelligence, as so much of it was framed around the kind of moronic chance-based exotic betting which is about as sophisticated as punting on the time-honoured two flies up a wall.
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By the end of today Australians will have spent just under $800 million on an event which lasts for just over three minutes.
According to research by the financial modelling firm IBISWorld, $377.7 million will be spent on fashion and fascinators, booze and canapés, as well as travel and accommodation for those making it to down to Melbourne. Another $404 million will be spent directly on gambling, be it a couple of bucks in the office sweep or the big end of town plunging tens of thousands on their favourite nag.
The total amount: $781.7 million. An extraordinary amount of money by any measure.
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“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.
“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.
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A leading sports betting agency is offering odds of $6 that Prime Minister Julia Gillard will enter the Big Brother house at some stage during the series.
We would have thought she’d be about a million-to-one, given she already spends enough of her time hanging around attention-seeking people of limited intelligence. OMG, did we really just say that?
What other unspeakable things do you feel like speaking about today?
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Andrew Wilkie has okayed a lame version of the government’s pokies legislation, which he yesterday called a “stepping stone to meaningful reform in the future”.
The guts of the deal is that club ATMs will be able to spit out just $250 worth of pokie playmoney per day, and that pre-commitment to an amount you’re willing to lose will be optional rather than mandatory.
The legislation is now toothless on two fronts. Firstly, optional pre-commitment is like offering a drunk the choice of ejecting himself for obnoxiousness. And secondly, the legislation fails to address the burgeoning arena of sports gambling.
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