Aussie Racing Family Buys Canbet

8 November 1999
Australia's well known Waterhouse racing family made news Sunday when E.tec, a company partially owned by the family, purchased Canbet, an ACT-based telephone and Internet sports betting company.

The Waterhouse name was thrown into the Net betting arena in early September when E.tec, formerly the old Network Entertainment film distribution company, announced plans of pursuing an interest in Internet gambling. The plans were made official Sunday with the announcement of the $10.9 million Canbet deal.

Robbie Waterhouse was banned from Australian racetracks 14 years ago following the infamous Fine Cotton horse-substitution affair. According the Sydney Morning Herald, Waterhouse will not have an active role in running the sports betting business even though the ban has since been lifted. He will instead act as a 'trusted adviser' to E.tec.

While headed by Waterhouse, E.tec earlier this year purchased telephone race betting firm Capital Sports. Shortly after the deal was made, Waterhouse resigned as chairman to avoid complicating E.tec's bid for a betting license.

E.tec Managing Director Karl O'Farrell said that Waterhouse "still has an incredible knowledge of the business, and he is very, very committed to the company.'

Canbet had a wagering turnover of $45.9 million in 1998, but reported a $109,000 loss. The sportsbook allows wagering on ice hockey, basketball, American football and baseball. E.tec plans to add Australian and European sports to the mix.