Bring it in tight, Tom Waterhouse. Yes, yes, yes, it is me again, and no, I don’t have particularly hard feelings because you’re suing me for defamation at the moment. Nothing personal, what?
Nevertheless, because of that legal action, I have of course tried to temper my remarks when it comes to your statement to the joint select committee on gambling reform on Tuesday, where you robustly defended your ubiquitous presence on sports broadcasts across Australia, asserting your right to flog your sports betting operation as you please.
So let me, as delicately as I can muster, as carefully as possible, choose my words delicately . . . with malice towards none . . . with charity to all:
ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FREAKING MIND?!
If you wrote the statement to the select committee, give yourself an uppercut. If someone wrote it for you, pretend you’re Mark Bouris on Celebrity Apprentice and say loudly: “You’re fired.”
In that statement, you say you have, “No intention of targeting children through our advertising . . .”
What are the kids then? Collateral damage? Whether or not the kids are specifically “targeted” by your company is hardly the point? The point is that they ARE hit, regardless. The point is that while the government has the brains to have a ban on gambling advertising on programs children are likely to be watching, there remains the ludicrous exception of sport, which millions of Australian kids watch for hours on end!
The point is that because of this exposure gambling chat in the playground is now endemic, and many young Australians think that gambling is glamorous instead of the brain-dead loser pursuit it actually is. So you didn’t specifically target them? So what?
The outcome is equally devastating – a time-bomb that will go off when they have more than their lunch money to lose.
In sum, your submission is a joke, your industry is a painfully poisonous parasite on Australia’s arse, and I will, I daresay, see you in court.