Author(s): Titus O'Reily
The rise, fall and rise of sport gambling in Australia
Australians lose more money gambling than any other country. But how did we get here? In his inimitable, hilarious style, sports historian Titus O’Reily charts the rise, fall and rise of sport gambling in Australia.
We’ll gamble on anything, from two flies crawling up a wall to less important things like federal elections. And thanks to the internet, phones and gambling-tax loving governments, these days Australians can indulge their love of a punt no matter what they’re doing. Aussies could be at the birth of a child or performing open-heart surgery and still put a bet on. It wasn’t always this easy.
Once, you could only gamble on sport illegally. Which, it turns out, was actually also pretty easy. But over the last thirty years gambling on sport has been legalised, first slowly and then very quickly. Now almost every ad on TV is about sport betting, and even some of the players are getting in on the wagering.
Please, Gamble Irresponsibly traces the history of gambling in Australia from horseracing in the colonial era, through the rise of SP bookies and organised crime, to the commercialisation of the industry and its impact on communities and the integrity of sport. With billions of dollars involved, what are the odds of putting the genie back in the bottle?