Exiled bookie Simon Beasley a sure bet for big return
Once Australia’s bookmaker king, Simon Beasley has emerged from an almost-decade long exile and is back on the punt.
The WA football great was banned for four years and fined $50,000 in 2009 after failing to record 1598 bets totalling $3.8 million in turnover. But after being denied re-registration in 2014, Mr Beasley confirmed he had received approval to return to betting with his new Beazabet business.
The 62-year-old said he had signed only 12 clients, but he was building an online business and hoped to return at next year’s Melbourne spring carnival to the on-course bookmaking ranks he once dominated.
“The punt is a disease curable by one thing only and that’s death,” he quipped in Perth yesterday during a visit home to see his 87-year-old mother Pamela.
Mr Beasley admitted he had made a mistake that deserved punishment, but believes his penalty was too harsh. He said he was left with up to $5 million in unpaid credit debts from clients. He had since been involved in retail business and land development in Bali during his time away from racing.
After turning over $100 million a year in bets in the mid-2000s, he admitted on-course bookmaking was in decline as crowd numbers fell at tracks around Australia. But he also said clever corporate marketing had duped young punters.
Mr Beasley said high percentages taken by online bookmakers meant punters were being short-changed.
“The younger generation aren’t as smart as they think they are when it comes to wagering ... they can’t beat the market,” he said.
He also believes competition law changes to allow a single nationwide TAB betting pool, including the WA TAB, would boost the industry.
Mr Beasley is running his new business from a small Melbourne office and has three other staff members.
“It’ll end up good, we just have to play it with a straight bat,” he said.
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