Bookmaker Tom Waterhouse has apologized to Australia and promised to cut back on his advertising in the wake of a public backlash.
Waterhouse said, in a letter to The Daily Telegraph, that he will cut down on his appearances on Nine Network’s NRL coverage.
“I am sorry,” he wrote. “I have listened to the PM and Australia and have made the call with Channel Nine to dramatically cut back on my advertising from tonight.”
Public anger over the growth of bookies promoting betting odds during TV coverage of live games has seen the government announce a crackdown on the practice.
Waterhouse added: “Punters like to watch sport, so I have focused on sports advertising, which flows through to benefit the sports. I would love to be still betting at the track, but the world has moved on and punters want to be able to bet online. However the public has spoken and you will see less of me on TV.”
The government is proposing that all promotion of live odds by gambling companies and commentators will be banned during live broadcasts of sport.
Free TV Australia, the industry body, has promised to revise its code within two weeks.