High-profile bookmaker and racing identity Bill Waterhouse dies aged 97
- Family patriarch and bookmaker Bill Waterhouse has died at the age of 97
- He was confirmed dead by his son, Robbie Waterhouse, via Twitter on Friday
- The qualified barrister was a colourful racing figure and bookmaker
Racing identity Bill Waterhouse, once the biggest bookmaker in the world, has died aged 97.
The father of high profile bookmaker Robbie Waterhouse and father-in-law of leading trainer Gai, Waterhouse’s death was confirmed by his son via Twitter on Friday.
‘Very sad that we have lost my father, Bill Waterhouse,’ Robbie Waterhouse said.
‘He left us peacefully with his family by his side. He was in great spirits till the end.
‘He enjoyed a great day with all his great-grandchildren last Sunday.’
Born William Stanley Waterhouse, the qualified barrister was a colourful racing figure who carved his name as a bookmaker, particularly during the 1960s and 70s.
He was known for his boldness and willingness to go head-to-head with leviathan punters such as Ray Hopkins, ‘Hong Kong Tiger’ Frank Duval and ‘The Filipino Fireball’ Filipe Ysmael.
His fearless attitude led to him losing $1 million in a single day in 1968 and he subsequently became widely regarded as the biggest gambler in the world.
Known as the ‘king of the bookies’ for his dominance of the betting ring, Waterhouse was reported to often hold more than the Totalisator during his prime.
In 1984, Waterhouse and his son Robbie were stripped of their bookmaking licences when the Australian Jockey Club alleged they had prior knowledge of the Fine Cotton ‘ring-in’ scandal.
Bill Waterhouse always maintained his innocence and in 2002 had his bookmaking licence reinstated in order to train his grandson Tom in the business.
He retired from bookmaking in 2010 at the age of 88.