LIFE’S A GLAMOROUS GAMBLE
Gambling has always been glamorous.
In the good old days, you’d turn up to a muddy track and give your money to a man in a rumpled suit to watch horses being whipped to within an inch of their lives.
If your horse won, you’d take the money. And put it on another horse. If your horse lost, you paid the strange man in the bag of fruit. And lost your house. If you didn’t pay, your toes would be cut off: the epitome of old world glamour.
Then the popularity of pokies almost killed this sport of kings.
The suburban set couldn’t resist the allure of the technicolour carpet, free peanuts, and the Queen of the Nile. Of course, cunning Cleopatra would steal our money but we always came back for more – until the purveyors of this fine art decided we should be free to gamble wherever we choose: on a mobile phone, laptop, or tablet.
Welcome to the world of online gambling, where too much glamour is barely enough.
Imagine yourself sitting on a stained suede lounge, decked out in tracksuit and ugg boots, feet on the coffee table, placing bets on your mobile phone? Tres chic.
Actually, we don’t use the word ‘bets’ anymore.
It’s not ‘gambling’; it’s a ‘lifestyle’. These are the odds on Tom Waterhouse looking clean-cut in a Savile Row suit: 2-1.
Offering odds on anything from horse racing to whether House Husbands will win a Logie: Even.
Admitting eight per cent of Australians are problem gamblers: 1000-1.
Laughing at a Chaser parody with the tagline, “As a Waterhouse, I was born to help people lose their money”: 100,000-1.
According to a gushing News Ltd. article, “Waterhouse is also single-handedly engineering a cultural shift in the way Australians perceive gambling by rebranding the once-seedy online wagering industry as a de rigueur hobby for the aspirational set.”
The aspirationals are mainly virgins: tomwaterhouse.com has attracted 100,000 punters in two years and despite being a regular visitor to the house of God, Tom says moral issues don’t trouble him.
He told Fairfax, “I always say to people who bet with me, anything in excess is bad for you: shopping, eating, gambling”.
He’s right. I’m always reading about people who’ve lost their life savings through shopping or eating.
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