Bookmaker Tom Waterhouse is the newest commentator for ARL games on Channel 9. While the gambling mogul’s role is to report on matches, local residents believe he has an ulterior motive.
This year, concerns have been raised about the sheer number of gambling advertisements that are aired during rugby matches in Australia. Viewers are also concerned about live betting odds being displayed during games, worried that this type of advertising has a bad influence on underage spectators and other vulnerable individuals.
As such, it has been requested that betting advertisements are banned, which would include the airing of live odds and club sponsorships. Having paid $15 million for the role, it seems that Waterhouse assumed the commentator position in preparation for a potential change in advertising laws.
According to some concerned residents, Waterhouse’s appearances during rugby matches are nothing more than glorified advertisements. They believe that he is simply getting prepared to skirt advertising restrictions once they are introduced.
There has been a great deal of criticism directed at Waterhouse ever since he started appearing on Channel. Facebook groups have been launched in protest, with one group in particular called: “F— You, Channel 9: We Hate Tom Waterhouse”. The general public feels very strongly about this, and there is no telling how Waterhouse’s appearances will affect rugby ratings.