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Tom Waterhouse

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Tom Waterhouse
Tom Waterhouse and Hoda Vakili.jpg
Waterhouse with wife Hoda Vakili in October 2012
BornThomas Robert Waterhouse
(1982-06-11) 11 June 1982 (age 36)
Sydney, Australia
ResidenceBalmoral, New South Wales[citation needed]
Alma materUniversity of Sydney
OccupationCEO of William Hill Australia
Spouse(s)Hoda Vakili
Parent(s)Robbie Waterhouse
Gai Waterhouse
RelativesBill Waterhouse (grandfather)
Tommy J. Smith (grandfather)

Thomas Robert "Tom" Waterhouse (born 11 June 1982) is an Australian bookmaker and the CEO of William Hill Australia. Waterhouse is a fourth generation bookmaker, and the great grandson of one of the first official bookmakers in Australia.

His grandfathers on both sides were involved in the racing industry. William "Bill" Waterhouse was a successful bookmaker in the 1960s and 1970s. The late trainer Tommy J. Smith trained 279 Group One winners, including two Melbourne Cup winners.

Early life

Waterhouse was born in Sydney and educated at Shore in North Sydney. He studied a bachelor of Commerce & Liberal Studies at the University of Sydney, majoring in finance and marketing with the intention of working in finance.[1]


In 2001, Waterhouse's father, Robbie Waterhouse, asked him if he would help out at Rosehill Racecourse, which Waterhouse enjoyed. He was only six months into his Commerce degree, but he immediately rearranged his timetable so that he could attend the races for the rest of the week.[2]

After obtaining his bookmaking licence he began working as a bookmaker on course in 2003.[citation needed] By 2008, Waterhouse was Australia's biggest on-track bookmaker, holding more than $20 million over four days at the Melbourne Cup carnival, more than all the other bookmakers combined.[1]

For four years Waterhouse lived in Melbourne's Crown Casino for most of the week due to the protectionist betting laws in NSW.[3]

Internet based business

Waterhouse's online gambling business is The business is owned by a network of companies owned by Robbie, Louise (Robbie's sister) and Tom Waterhouse.[4] The company is one of Australia's largest corporate bookmakers, with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin, and claims a client list of 100 "high-net-worth individuals" whose minimum bet is $1000.[2]

In 2013, the escalating presence of promotions and editorial commentary on free-to-air television led to a significant backlash from the Australian public against Waterhouse personally and the wider gambling industry.[5] In 2013, Tom Waterhouse declined an invitation to appear before a federal parliamentary committee into gambling reform.[6] Tom Waterhouse released a statement to the committee denying that his advertising during sports broadcasts intentionally targeted children.[7]

Australian Senator Nick Xenophon said, "Tom Waterhouse has pushed the envelope to the extent that it has now got to the point that it's out of control and there needs to be a legislative response"[8]

In May 2013, Waterhouse was directed by NSW Racing stewards to keep his bookmaking business clearly separate from the training business of his mother Gai Waterhouse, to avoid public perceptions of a conflict of interest.[9][10]

On 31 May 2013, Waterhouse issued a statement saying "I am sorry. I have listened to the PM and Australia and have made the call with Channel 9 to dramatically cut back on my advertising from tonight."[11]


The first bookmaker in the family was Charles Waterhouse, who attained his licence in 1898.[2] Waterhouse's maternal Grandfather, T.J Smith was an Australian racehorse trainer. His mother, Gai Waterhouse (maiden name Gabriel Marie Smith) is a leading Australian horse trainer, businesswoman and a former actress. Gai Waterhouse served an apprenticeship under her father for fifteen years before receiving her own trainer's licence.

Waterhouse's father, Robbie Waterhouse and grandfather William "Bill" Waterhouse are also bookmakers. They have attracted controversy in the past including the loss of their bookmaker's licences for eighteen years (originally life bans) due to their involvement in the Fine Cotton substitution scandal in 1984.[12]

Tom Waterhouse married wife Hoda Vakili in 2011, in the Italian town of Taormina. The couple met at Sydney University, where Vakili was studying her Master's in Architecture. Close friends for years, Vakili even worked at the track for Waterhouse for three years taking bets during her degree.[13]


Waterhouse is a regular contributor on many sports-related television and radio programs, as well as various newspapers and magazines.

He is the co-host of Sportsline on Sky Business, and the racing-focused Two Cups and a Plate on TVN. He pays to appear on the Nine Network's Wide World of Sports and is a regular during Nine's coverage of the Wallabies, and featured during the Rugby World Cup 2011. Waterhouse is a regular guest on 2GB with Alan Jones on Friday mornings during Autumn and Spring to discuss racing and sports. He regularly featured during the Channel Seven's coverage of Wimbledon 2012, and Ascot on TVN.[14]

Waterhouse was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars in 2006. He was the second contestant voted off.[15]

According to The Age, Waterhouse's staff have edited this Wikipedia page. Waterhouse told the reporters that, although his staff takes down false or defamatory information, he has never requested that anything in particular be removed. The Age criticised the at times selective coverage of the Wikipedia article.[16]

More Joyous inquiry

At the 2013 Sydney Cup day on 27 April at Randwick Racecourse, John Singleton fired Gai Waterhouse (Tom's mother) as trainer of his horses amid allegations that Tom Waterhouse gave acquaintances inside information that Singleton's horse More Joyous was unfit to win the All Ages Stakes. Tom Waterhouse denied any wrongdoing and was cleared in a stewards enquiry conducted by the Racing NSW.[9] Waterhouse was warned not to use his mother's name to promote his bookmaking business.[17]


Waterhouse was included in the SmartCompany's Hot 30 Under 30 class of 2012, group of entrepreneurs aged 30 years and younger.[18] was ranked 19th in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Australia 2012.[19]


  1. ^ a b Elliott, Tim (26 May 2012). "A serious man". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Tim Elliott. "Tom Waterhouse: Too Rich, Too Young, Too Lucky". Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  3. ^ Webster, Andrew (10 June 2011). "Behind the scenes with Tom Waterhouse and a bookmaking dynasty |". Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  4. ^ "Father holds stake in Tom Waterhouse empire". Melbourne:
  5. ^ Dean, Ritchie. "Tom Waterhouse put on the Bench". Daily Telegraph. Daily Telegraph.
  6. ^ Coyne, Brendan. "Waterhouse avoids gambling reform committee". AdNews site. AdNews. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  7. ^ Knox, David. "Waterhouse defends Gambling Ads". Online News Article. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  8. ^ Heath Aston (20 September 2010). "Waterhouse's multi-million dollar NRL deal put under microscope". Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Nobody escaped unscathed from the More Joyous inquiry". The Daily Telegraph. 14 May 2013.
  10. ^ Davies, Lisa. "Waterhouse warned by stewards | Newcastle Herald". Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  11. ^ "'I am sorry. I have listened': Waterhouse cuts back on TV advertising". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  12. ^ Young, Craig (16 April 2002). "Waterhouse faces new ban". Sydney Morning Herald.
  13. ^ Rowlands, Letitia (2 July 2011). "Wedded bliss in Italian paradise for Tom Waterhouse and Hoda Vakili |". Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  14. ^ "Tom". 29 October 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  15. ^ "Tom Waterhouse voted off". Melbourne. 11 October 2006. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  16. ^ Missing details: the sanitisation of Tom Waterhouse's Wikipedia page, James Robertson and Melissa Davey, The Age 14 May 2013.
  17. ^ Davies, Lisa (13 May 2013). "Racing tells Tom: grow up |". Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  18. ^
  19. ^