Liquor & Gaming NSW Takes Bookmaker Robbie Waterhouse to Court

Robbie Waterhouse and its online betting website are being prosecuted by Liquor & Gaming NSW for allegedly breaching operator’s responsible gambling obligations by incentivizing a customer to continue betting after the customer requested an account closure.

Offering Inducements for Participation in Gambling

Waterhouse, who joined the world of online betting during the period when Australia’s racetracks were closed due to the pandemic-related restrictions, is facing a fine of up to AU$121,000 ($78,000) if the violation of the Betting and Racing Act is found to be true, reported The Sydney Morning Herald.

The 67-year-old descendant of a prominent bookmaker family – Robbie Waterhouse is the son of prominent bookmaker Bill Waterhouse – is facing 11 charges, five of which pertain to incentivizing a person to continue gambling after an account closure request from them, while the remaining six pertain to accepting bets from a person who has requested their account be closed.

Liquor & Gaming NSW confirmed before the media that Waterhouse and his online betting business are being prosecuted but as the matter is before the courts, the regulator refused to provide further details. Waterhouse, who is still to formally respond to the charges, and is set to appear before a local court on December 6, did not respond to the reporting media’s request for comments.

NSW Betting and Gaming Act 1988 forbids gambling operators from offering individuals inducements to participate in any gambling activity. Recently, the regulator suggested that it may undertake a probe into another betting firm, Betr, for offering inducements in the Melbourne cup.

A dedicated responsible gaming page on Waterhouse’s business website warns customers that “gambling may result in addiction with devastating consequences for them, their families and friends.”

“At we understand the dangers of gambling beyond your means and we wish to protect our members,” the website states, expressing the firm’s wish to help customers “stay in control” of their gambling and “not allow gambling to control” them.

Bookmaker’s Integrity under the Spotlight Again

The alleged transgression will not be the first in Waterhouse’s illustrious career as a bookmaker, following the ban from racetracks for 14 years he received for betting on a race knowing it was fixed – the scam involving the substitution of an undistinguished horse, Fine Cotton, by a better horse called Bold Personality, known as the “Fine Cotton Affair.”

The scam was uncovered after the “ring-in” horse had won the race but was disqualified as stewards found it had been painted brown to pass off as Fine Cotton. All bets stood and everyone who had wagered on the disqualified winner, including Waterhouse, lost their bets.

After multiple appeals, Waterhouse had his ban lifted and was allowed to return to bookmaking and racetracks in 2001.

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