my response to gai waterhouse

Good old Gai Waterhouse. You’ve got to hand it to her; she’s had enough of all these nasty politicians and Twitterati slagging of her boy Tom for no good reason, and she’s not going to take it anymore.

If you’ve been anywhere near the papers today, you’ll have seen that Our Gai has had a gutful. In Sydney it was even front page news! She’s sick of all the negative attention little Tommy is getting just for doing his job, and she’s called for it to stop.

Gai and Tom Waterhouse – front page news?

This is, of course, in the wake of attempts to get her son to front a Senate Inquiry into gambling, attempts that have so far proved futile. It’s also after the uproar that her son’s NRL appearances on Channel Nine have caused.

Most of Gai’s reasons can be condensed into “They’re picking on him because he’s a Waterhouse, and they can bugger off.” Stirring stuff, Gai, but not exactly convincing.

Don’t forget that your boy Tom has traded on the Waterhouse name from day one. “Generations of betting” are “in his blood”, remember? Heck, you even appeared in his earliest ads, smiling dotingly as he professed to know nothing about sport. You looked so proud.

But Gai, it’s not that he’s a Waterhouse. It’s the fact that he has branded his company with his name, and his face, and is doing everything possible to push that name and that face into our lounge rooms, computer screens, TV sets, radios, newspapers and (in Melbourne) even our trams.

Of course there are other sports betting companies fighting for a slice of the pie. I can name fourteen off the top of my head (including your boy Tommy’s) which are licensed to operate in Australia. And of course there are other names and faces associated with these companies. Glenn Munsie and Matt Campbell are two that spring to mind, while Jaimee Rogers has a healthy fan club (although that’s a whole different story).

But Gai, none of these companies are called MunsieBet, or TAB Campbell, or even Jaimee365. Branding with a name and a face was your boy’s idea. It’s making him a fortune. So he, and you, will have to get used to the idea that not everyone is happy about it.

Gai, there was one thing you said in your interview with the papers that made sense. One nugget of gold almost buried in the cheerleading for your son. You said:

“They don’t have to pick up the phone to have a bet. They don’t have to pick up a cigarette and smoke it. They don’t have to do anything.”

How refreshing it is to hear someone intimately associated with horse and sports betting, someone with the closest of ties to bookmakers, equating sports betting with smoking. Because of course (as I’m sure you realise Gai), if we were to treat sports betting and smoking equally, every gambling website and smart-phone app would be khaki-green and carry graphic warnings and images of lives destroyed by gambling. Every betting ad would instantly be banned. And your boy Tommy’s face would vanish from our TV screens overnight.

Wouldn’t that be nice?


5 Responses

  1. CB says:

    He puts his name up in lights, stands in front of cameras and then complains when he gets (adverse) attention. Strategy: get Mummy to do some PR for him. All in the family. QED

  2. fAMILYMAN says:

    Is Australia a country or a business! Do millions of Australian families have a right to sport only if they watch mummies boy spruik his gambling business to their kids? Alas poor Australia I knew her well.

  3. Tim Falkiner says:

    It is not only Waterhouse. Gambing and sports should be kept separate. It is madness to allow sportsbetting. It is only a matter of time before our sports are corrupted. This is evidence from a British enquiry in the early 1900s before the clamp down. “Finally my opinion – and as I have already said, I have had twenty-three years experience – is that the whole system [foot racing] is rotton. The same system obtains in connection with cycle racing, only more so. I would add, however, if you clear the ground of betting men and bookmakers then you will have more honest sport; as it is at present, it is absolutely dishonest. I have been afraid after a race to meet some of these people …”

  4. njptower says:

    we must always remember that the waterhouse name is connected to fine cotton for which event his father was banned from race tracks

  5. Tim Falkiner says:

    I have to pinch myself watching all this drama about Gai Waterhouse, Tom Waterhouse, John Singleton and the brothel owner. For Heaven’s sake! This is racing, not a Rio Tinto tendering process. The situation is summed up in “Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen” by P.G.Wodehouse where Bertie is objecting to stealing a cat, the companion animal of a racehorse. Bertie: “How about the purity of the turf?” Aunt Dahlia: “No good to me. I like my turf impure. More genuine excitement.” Bertie: “What would the Quorn say of this? Or, for the matter of that, the Pytchley?” Aunt Agatha: “They would send me a telegram wishing me luck.”
    Does any punter who has got beyond Enid Blyton really believe for one moment that bookies, horse owners and trainers do not all talk together? The punters simply factor that in. And how can a trainer bet on a horse without having inside knowledge unless perhaps suffering from a multiple personality disorder. If a trainer can bet on a horse having inside knowledge why cannot anyone else? The real problem is when a mug punter believes the system is run by the famous five and makes a bet bigger than a ten dollar flutter.

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