Quite by chance this afternoon I bumped into an old friend of mine at at the Waterloo hotel where I was punting like a demon, downing pink lemonades and nailing Cox Plate First 4’s with just four combinations, and we got talking.
During the course of a pleasant afternoon’s conversation between races about all manner of things the woman – who’d I’d met at high school, and later went on to spend many a wild night with on the Arthur Hoey and Egg Nog, including one memorable week at schoolies, but never shagged, and have seen only intermittently in the decades since – told me that another friend of ours had put her onto my website and that she’d become an avid reader, which just goes to show that they occasionally breed them smart in Chermside too (although not that often).
“It’s a small world” she told me, speaking the bleeding obvious, “But I’ve met Whimpey Dave and his wife, although I never realised who they were until I saw their picture in one of the stories on your website”.
“Yeah, I met them on Melbourne Cup day last year, the day of the blackout, in the Birdcage at Eagle Farm. They were sitting at the table next to us, with about ten of their friends, and we got talking as you do when you’re 3 glasses into the champers and the clock is still 180% from striking twelve noon.
And do you know what we were talking about? Bet Fairy. They asked me if I’d ever heard of it, and then started telling me all about how fantastic it was and giving me a sales spiel, and said that they could show me how to download the app and sign up right there and then if I wanted to. They must have thought I was some sort of mug who’d come down in the last shower”
(This woman – whose father is rated one of the best halfbacks ever to play in the old Brisbane Rugby League A grade comp and once dead heated with Artie Beetson for the Best and Fairest player of the season – has been punting before she could walk, and knows an arm puller’s play like the back of her hand)
My interest was suddenly piqued, and I put down the form guide.
“Are you sure it was Whimpey Dave pulling your arm and bashing your ear luv, not just his missus?”
“I’m absolutely positive Archie. They were both talking about it, but he was doing most of the gabbing, and putting on a pretty hard sell. Funnily enough” she said with an ironic grin on her dial “Once I told them I wasn’t interested we didn’t speak again for the rest of the day.
But do you know what’s even funnier? Not once did he ever mention that he was the CEO of the club, and I was wearing my members badge and all. Why do you think that was old friend?”
We both burst into laughter at the rhetorical question.
When you’re from Geebung and the wrong side of the Cherm you learn all about the dodge from your grandpa while you’re still in nappies, and no-one’s ever going to pull the wool over your eyes, not as long as you can still see anyway, so she and I both knew full well why Whimpey Dave hadn’t told her that he was the boss of the BRC.
Because what he was doing was wrong. Corrupt. A misuse of his senior executive position for personal profit. A breach of Whimpey Dave’s requirement to declare his pecuniary interests under the BRC policy, a breach of his duty to the club’s shareholders and members, and a breach of the Corporations Act.
It’s a f*cking absolute and utter outrage that Whimpey thought it was okay to create and sell a wagering product under his wife’s name when he is the head of a public company that derives its income from gambling revenue, and the product he is selling has no benefit to anyone but him, his family and the other share holders.
And the hide of the bloke, taking advantage of free tickets to the flashest marquee on the course on Cup Day to use his working time – yes it was a working day; aren’t their rules about getting drunk at work, and health and safety laws prohibiting it? – to try and flog strangers his own online gambling product rather than encouraging them to punt directly through the on-course tote that the club half owns in a joint venture and receives a direct share of the profits from?
Make no mistake at all sportsfans Whimpey’s involvement with, and promotion of, Bet Fairy is absolutely criminal behavior. It’s like a warden of the church getting parishioners in the pulpit to pay their weekly tithe by Eftpos through her personal machine she carries from pew to pew and earns a healthy commission from, rather than putting it directly into the plate sans the EFT fee deductions.
It’s a disgrace; but the even bigger disgrace is that the Club Chairman Nifty Nev and his Deputy Little Dickie Morrison and the pair’s band of merry little men on the BRC Committee know all about Whimpey’s corporate misbehavior and not only sanction it, but go further and actively try to justify it and explain it away.
What this says to any right-minded person is that these blokes thing ripping off BRC member’s money and skimming the club’s revenue is actually okay. There can be but one reason for that can’t there sportsfans? They’re in on it too.
God help the Brisbane Racing industry with these wallet lifters in charge of hundreds of millions of dollars of other people’s money.
We’ll be lucky if we have any racecourses left in Vegas in 5 years time.
The bells are ringing,
Why can no one hear them chime?