Cup Winners And Losers: Online Betting Forces BankBbig Moola
The really big winners were, as ever, the bookies – but these days especially the online betting operators, which last night were banking enormous amounts, after the Aussie outsider stormed home.
Actual figures were not available last night. But think zillions: the online betting money is almost totally owned by overseas, and sometime dubious, operators, even though many operate under the banner of a murky group dubbed the Australian Wagering Council (AWC). Some are notorious for using dubious practices to lure in and then bankrupt punters, according to an ABC report.
A Guardian Australia report notes the most successful online betting agency Down Under is Sports Bet, owned by Ireland’s Paddy Power, which snapped up the Aussie agency in 2010 for $132 million.
But there’s always Tom Waterhouse, isn’t there – scion of the famous Aussie racing family, and well known for his online urging on Australian TV? Er, not exactly: Tom’s business, along with other Aussie bookies Sportingbet and Centrebet, was acquired by British gambling giant William Hill the same year for a cool $710 million.
Critics say online betting is a sometimes invidious and uncontrolled overseas business which uses TV to milk Aussie punters, particularly younger ones, for billions of dollars, some urging them on by offering credit the punters find they can’t afford.