Tom Waterhouse’s famous horse trainer mother Gai took aim at people criticising her son for his ubiquitous presence on Australians’ TV screens.
Tom Waterhouse’s famous horse trainer mother Gai took aim at people criticising her son for his ubiquitous presence on Australians’ TV screens. Scott Barbour / Getty Images

Senator believes Waterhouse should 'fight his own battles'

ONLINE bookmaker Tom Waterhouse is "big enough to fight his own battles" and should front the parliamentary inquiry into sports gambling, Greens Senator Richard Di Natale said.

Senator Di Natale was responding to a weekend story in which Mr Waterhouse's famous horse trainer mother Gai took aim at people criticising her son for his ubiquitous presence on Australians' TV screens.

Mr Waterhouse's appearances on Channel Nine's rugby league coverage this season was one of the key issues raised during a hearing of the of Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform last week.

Speaking to News Ltd, Mrs Waterhouse singled out the "Greenies and all the rest of them" for targeting her son, who has declined to appear before the committee.

"I note that over the weekend Gai Waterhouse took issue with my criticisms of her son. I hope Tom Waterhouse is big enough to fight his own battles and agrees to explain himself at my Gambling Inquiry," Senator Di Natale said.

"But this isn't about Tom Waterhouse or the Greens - it's about making sure families can enjoy a game of sport without having betting adds shoved down their throats."

It came as Senator Di Natale released an exposure draft of a bill that would ban the broadcast of betting odds during sports broadcasts, including programs like The Footy Show.

He said sports gambling was becoming normalised for the next generation of fans.

"It's becoming increasingly hard for young kids to know where the sport ends and the gambling begins," he said.

"Ten years ago kids used to collect footy cards, now they follow the odds of their favourite player winning the Brownlow. If we are not careful we run the risk of creating a whole new generation of problem gamblers."

He said the proposed code on the broadcast of betting odds was "weak" and legislation was needed.


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