Tom ­Waterhouse has been charged with illegally offering inducements or incentives to gamblers. This comes after his dad Robbie faces similar charges.
Tom ­Waterhouse has been charged with illegally offering inducements or incentives to gamblers. This comes after his dad Robbie faces similar charges.

Tom Waterhouse joins dad in illegal ads claims

When it comes to Sydney's famous Waterhouse family, horse racing is a family affair - and so are their court cases for alleged illegal gambling advertising.

Racing scion Tom ­Waterhouse is set to face court on March 3 to answer to 14 charges of illegally offering inducements or incentives to gamblers, which could see him fined more than $150,000.

This comes after it emerged that his father, famed bookmaker Robbie Waterhouse and husband of legendary horse trainer and newly appointed Officer of the Order of Australia, Gai, had been charged with five counts of the same offence and was due to face court in February.

After starting his career as a bookmaker, Tom has reinvented himself recently as an odds provider and sells tips and racing data to gamblers through his online based business. His father runs his own bookmaking business, which takes bets through his own site.

Tom and Robbie Waterhouse both faces charges. Picture: Karon Photography
Tom and Robbie Waterhouse both faces charges. Picture: Karon Photography

However, it is understood it will be alleged in court that Tom breached the state's strict gambling advertising rules by offering punters an inducement to go to his father's betting site. It is understood it will be alleged that this was done through a push notification that landed on Tom's subscribers' phones that offered them an ­inducement to visit his father's site.

It is also understood that punters were allegedly offered $50 in betting credit on the elder Waterhouse's site if their horse did not win.

The Saturday Telegraph's calls to Tom were not returned.

Under the state's Betting and Racing Act it is illegal to offer punters an "inducement to participate", or "to participate frequently in any gambling activity".

Robbie, 66, has been charged with five counts of unlawfully publishing gaming advertisements ­relating to his website and is scheduled to face court on February 17. He faces a maximum $55,000 fine if convicted.

Robbie allegedly posted a banner on his gambling website and sent three emails to subscribers last June and followed up with a tweet in ­August that were a breach of the state's gambling laws.

The June tweet allegedly off­ered "boosts" to punters on his website, which Liquor & Gaming NSW claims is an illegal incentive.

Gai and Robbie Waterhouse with son Tom. Picture: Julian Smith
Gai and Robbie Waterhouse with son Tom. Picture: Julian Smith

It will also be alleged that Robbie emailed clients offering "FREE $20 cash" and then put a banner on his website offering "Up to five price boosts per day" on June 18.

A LGNSW spokesman declined to comment on the cases.

"LGNSW has an active monitoring program which looks at the processes of betting services including their advertisements," the spokesman said. "LGNSW will respond to reports of non-compliance"

The cases come after a LGNSW crackdown on advertising for the state's gambling industry.

In court last February, gaming giants Ladbrokes and Neds were fined $207,500 combined after being convicted of similar offences.

It is not the first time the Waterhouse family has been at the centre of controversy. Robbie served eight months periodic detention and was banned from holding a bookmaker's licence following the Fine Cotton Affair.

Originally published as Tom Waterhouse joins dad in illegal ads claims



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