Australia ripped off again, as foreign bookies take Aussie punters’ losses

It’s popular folklore that Australians have always loved a bet. It’s often said that “Australians will bet on two flies crawling up a wall”.

Last year, Australians lost an estimated $200 million to foreign bookies, which was about half the total money lost in Australia on gambling. And it seems that as with so many other enterprises in Australia, where there’s money to be made, the big foreign firms move in, and start buying up Australian businesses, and they eventually dominate the market.

It’s interesting to note how federal and state governments now deal with society’s social “vices”. Smoking tobacco has certainly been given a red light, whilst the alcohol and gambling industries have been given big green lights.

In recent years Australians have been subjected to an avalanche of advertising from betting agencies. The ever-constant presence of high-profile bookmaker Tom Waterhouse on Australian television screens even prompted the national parliament to pass restrictions on live TV odds during sporting broadcasts. But the avalanche continues. Waterhouse’s Australian firm has since been swallowed up by UK betting giant William Hill, that also owns Australian operatives Sportingbet and Centrebet.

The latest entrant allowed into Australia’s sports betting market is the foreign-owned betting giant Bet 365, whose saturation TV advertising features a black American male promoter, who incorrectly refers to the sport of “AFL” (the correct term is Australian Rules or Aussie Rules football), and asks why the customer hasn’t joined the biggest online betting agency in the world. One could come up with quite a few sensible answers, not the least being that Bet 365 happens to be foreign-owned!

It is surely puzzling as to why the Australian government even allowed foreign firms to enter the Australian gambling market, given that we already have our own betting agencies, and given that gambling creates no real wealth. It simply means money changes hands, and the profits leave Australia.

While these foreign-owned companies pay some tax and employ some Australians, one could certainly assume their overall impact would cost us considerably more in both social and economic terms. It would seem that once again the Australian government has pandered to foreign-owned companies and free-market extremism.

Aussie punters lining the pockets of foreign bookies”, Courier Mail, 18 October 2013
Julia Gillard to ban Tom Waterhouse and other bookies from broadcasts”,, 26 May 2013


  1. Good article on an important topic

  2. Aussie pollies are most likely on the take. The predatory gambling parasites do absolutely nothing except providing online ‘services’ to milk problem gamblers of their hard-earned dollars. These are crooks with the biggest, easiest, sleaziest money-making scam in history. I hate the thought of phat pigs making a rich living from Aussie gamblers. Screw them, and screw the daft, decrepit aussie pollies.

  3. mark morrisey says

    makes me sick these leeches profiting from our misary to overseas dogs. bring back the oncourse bookie so to have a bet u go to th races

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