Once upon a time a 14-year-old kid from Geebung could jump the fence at Eagle Farm races, outrun the old bloke manning the gate, and throw the $5 he’d saved up in 10c pieces on a 1000-1 shot, provided he could get the bookie to accept that the baby-faced punter was eighteen, or look the other way while the kid placed the bet anyway.
I did it hundreds of times, and never once got knocked back, because bookies are capitalist con-men who crave cash and don’t care who they take it off, or whether it is paid in coins, and in those days had to lay a minimum wager that might see them lose 5 grand.
The advent of corporate bookies changed that landscape, and for a time the satchel swingers sitting at their laptops could pick and choose what bets they would take and those that they wouldn’t, while the fat pub owners and property developers stuck in the golden ages and still taking bets on their stand at the races were forced to bet a mug like me to lose a reduced $2000.
Those poor old fat blokes thought it mighty unfair that they had to lay the odds to 2 large, while their corporate competitors could duck and weave and do as they please, so the corpulent odds caller cried ‘Crook!’, and after a few sneaky donations to the pollies, the NSW Government listened, and now the corporate computer-jockeys have to bet a mug to lose $2000 too.
But here’s the joke, and it ain’t funny.
TAB.COM.AU – Tabcorp – run the totes in NSW and in Victoria.
As stated above, in NSW they have to take a wager that might cost them 2 grand, a trifle they can easily afford.
But in Victoria, home of the faint-hearted, the same company are allowed a laissez-fairre licence to accept or refuse any bloody bets that they choose, and as a result they are legally allowed to refuse a 5 buck bet from a Bunger boy that at the very worst will cost the corporation with a billion bucks worth of assets a miserable 250 dineros, and on a goddamn no-hoper of a camel at that.
I suppose a sportsfan shouldn’t be surprised. After all, this is the home state of George the Pedo Pell, and Jihad James Hird, so you would expect the joint to be full of gutless cats. And they did kill Ned Kelly after all.
But please, 5 lousy dollars to win a tank full of petrol and they knock you back?
What a f*cking joke.