This review examines the offerings that will be found at www.robwaterhouse.com.au.
After he returned from the ban he copped for his alleged role in the notorious Fine Cotton Affair, Rob Waterhouse, compared to his son Thomas, seemed more interested in the racing exploits of his wife Gai, who is the daughter of legendary Thoroughbred trainer T. J. Smith.
Rob Waterhouse certainly did not abandon the family tradition of fielding punts on racing, but with his wagering website, he has taken the family business beyond racing by offering a full-featured wagering portal that offers the sports and other markets expected from a full service online bookmaker. Join RobWaterhouse.com - ENTER Promo Code Racing200
Rob Waterhouse Bookie
Over the course of more than 10 years looking at the various online bookmakers, trying to stay current with which bookie is run by who, watching new bookies come and go or be acquired, we have come to the conclusion that all the bookies are pretty good.
It comes down to personal preferences and our preference is for a wagering website that stays out of the way and lets us focus on finding markets, using promotions to best advantage and identifying value selections that offer a decent chance of success for a worthwhile dividend.
The home page of robwaterhouse.com.au is uncluttered and not hard on the eyes, save for a scrolling slideshow that we encountered not only on the home page, but on the racing page as well. It is on a purple background, an odd purple at that, and it supplies nothing in the way of worthwhile information.
Thankfully, it is not present of the sports tab and it goes away from the racing tab as soon as a market is selected.
The Rob Waterhouse website is a variation on the three-column theme to which most punters are accustomed, but there is no left column for the various sports and racing markets. If you want to see racing, you click on the Racing tab at the top of the page, which also contains tabs for sports, promotions, the Rob Waterhouse login tab and the tab for joining.
Once you have landed on the racing page, you have the option to view all three codes, or you can filter by Thoroughbreds, harness and greyhound.
The sport tab goes to a page where the codes are represented by icons at the top of the page, similar to the way Sportsbet used to do it way back when. These icons are kept current by the seasons. For example, on a visit to the site that came after the conclusion of the AFL season, the AFL icon had been removed.
There were just 16 icons for various sports, 15 if you eliminate the icon devoted to elections.
The other spot where the Rob Waterhouse bookie website differed from the familiar is that when a market is selected, the bet slip opens up right in the middle of the page.
Unlike the majority of bookies, if you want to experiment with the bet slip, you have to have an account set up. What we did like about the bet slip was the possible payout calculator and the icons for various wager amounts that ran from $1 to $500.
Once a bet is entered, it is displayed at the top right of the page, but it only shows the number of bets placed.
Signing up, getting a Rob Waterhouse log in, making a deposit and taking the third step, which according to the site is “Get in the Game,” was easy and fast.
Our overall impression of the website is positive, as it is doubtless functional. Other than the odd purple theme, the rest of the text is mostly black and white, with a little grey and the occasional red and orange thrown in.
Rob Waterhouse Mobile App
While we like our big, multiple monitor display for gaining a detailed view of what a bookie has on offer or what the markets are quoting for odds, we are as addicted to our mobiles as is anyone else.
Mobile phones with the Rob Waterhouse mobile app, however, are ideal for the routine processes of placing bets, or depositing and withdrawing funds.
We know punters who rely entirely on their mobiles and it would be hard to argue that smart phones and wagering is not a nearly ideal utilization of the technology and bookie websites.
Our impression of the Rob Waterhouse app is that it does everything anyone could reasonably ask of it.
There are Rob Waterhouse Android and iOS apps for Apple devices.
The nice feature we observed with the Rob Waterhouse app is that it does not require excessive scrolling and tapping to get anything done. The apps display nicely in either portrait or landscape mode, which in our opinion, is enhanced because the Rob Waterhouse wagering screens are not crammed to the maximum in the attempt to have everything on one screen.
Our only conclusion other than that is that all the bookies have pretty good mobile wagering apps and small-screen friendly websites. Anything less would risk losing customers in droves or driving new clients away.
Rob Waterhouse Promotions
No surprises here. The Rob Waterhouse bookie offers standard, ongoing promotions, such as protest payouts for a winning bet being relegated over a protest, special promotions, such as something designed for an important race or sports event and seasonal promotions, such as something that would hold appeal for footy fans who want a season long AFL or NRL promotion. Join RobWaterhouse.com - ENTER Promo Code Racing200
This would be a good spot to make mention of RobWaterhouse.com TV, where clients can watch live racing, which is really great for following proceedings at smaller venues.
There is an option to view the live stream in a small window at the bottom of the screen, or to make it full screen. We found the full screen image a bit blurry and it seemed as though the video feed buffered excessively, but that could be on our end as well as theirs. After a few minutes, the picture got clearer and it functioned acceptably.
On a recent visit to robwaterhouse.com.au, here is a snapshot of the Rob Waterhouse promotions we observed.
Money Back Racing
The site was leading with a promotion for the first three races at an upcoming Randwick race meeting. The cap on the money back was $50 and anyone who claimed the money back would receive bonus bets.
We are seeing this sort of promotion more frequently than we had in the past. Robwaterhouse.com.au and others have this type of promotion to encourage punters to bet on the early races, rather than holding out for the big races nearer the end of a meeting.
The racing industry would be better off if punters would bet on the early races, as it would increase turnover, which would eventually lead to better odds quotes.
Money Back NFL
There is no doubt that the National Football League attracts punters from around the world and Australia is no exception. Gridiron lends itself to all manner of markets and prop bets.
This one from Rob Waterhouse was similar to the racing money back promotion, except it jumped from a cap of $50 to $100 in bonus bets for punters who had backed an NFL club that was holding the lead at the main break but went on to lose the game.
Money Back PGA
It is a bit rare to see a bookie offering a PGA promotion, especially the sort Rob Waterhouse offers that covers every PGA tournament, rather than simply the majors.
This one looks tough to claim. It is capped at $100, just like the NFL Money Back promotion, but to be eligible, a backed player has to lose the tournament in a playoff.
Rob Waterhouse Bump Up Promotion
The Bump Up promotion is available for any of the three racing codes and is equivalent to five times the quoted odds.
Those four promotions were all the site was displaying on our most recent visit.
That is far fewer than the corporate bookies on average. The really keen feature of the Rob Waterhouse promotions page was a panel on the right side. Where most bookies reserve this to display the bet slip, the Rob Waterhouse site had Trending Bets displayed and the quotes for those markets.
It is important to mention that any winnings claimed via one of the Rob Waterhouse promotions are paid in bonus bets and are therefore subject to the promotional turnover requirements.
Rob Waterhouse Odds
The general rule is that the prices offered by the various bookies are generally tightly clustered. Much lower than the competition would chase punters off. Much higher than the competition would risk going out of business.
We randomly examined a couple of markets at robwaterhouse.com.au and compared them to Ladbrokes.
For the 2020 Group 1 Victoria Derby, the Tom Waterhouse website had not yet posted prices, which seemed very odd, as at the time this was prepared it was less than two days until the jump of the race. Ladbrokes had the favourite quoted at $4.
We could think of only two reasons robwaterhouse.com.au would not have the prices at this late stage. One, the rails bookmaker mentality holds sway and the prices will not be put up until the day of the race. Two, this bookie might not offer All In betting, which might actually be a good thing, especially to anyone who has got on early for a nice price, only to see the horse scratched and the stake confiscated by the bookie.
Fortunately, for our comparison, this was not the case with the NFL markets. Rob Waterhouse had the Carolina Panthers for $1.70 versus the Atlanta Falcons for $2.15. Ladbrokes was $1.72 Panthers and $2.15 Falcons.
These minute differences were observed throughout the table, lending support to the idea that prices between bookies are seldom a solid criterion for picking one bookie over another.
Rob Waterhouse Markets
Newer bookies will seldom offer the number of markets that an older, well-established bookie will offer, but we doubt the importance of this element as we do odds quotes.
What we saw was that for the NFL fixture we used for the above example, beyond the head-to-head and spreads, Rob Waterhouse had only 13 other markets, while Ladbrokes had an additional 69 markets.
We have seen this before with new bookies, so we have no doubt that Rob Waterhouse will increase the number of markets down the line.
Rob Waterhouse Funding Options
Again, a new bookie has fewer funding options. Robwaterhouse.com.au accepts Visa, MasterCard, BPay, POLi and direct bank transfer. That should suffice for most punters.
Rob Waterhouse Withdrawal Options
Punters must make a minimum withdrawal of $20. Those who fund with a credit card must take an amount of winnings equal to the original deposit to the same credit card. Any excess can be routed to a bank.
For clients who funded with one of the other methods, the only option is bank transfer.
Rob Waterhouse Customer Service
The bookie can be contacted via chat and via email at email@example.com.
If there is a phone number, the website did a good job of hiding it from us to the extent we abandoned searching. It would lead us to think this bookie does not support phone betting, at least not yet.
It is still early in the existence of robwaterhouse.com., maybe too early to form a solid conclusion.
There is no doubt the Waterhouse family knows racing and wagering in general. If they need help with sports markets, there is expertise to be found easily.
It is also too early to tell if RobWaterhouse.com will grow to take its place among the copious number of online bookies Aussies can select, or if they are interested in establishing a foothold with an eye towards selling out to one of the corporate bookies, as was the case with the short-lived Tom Waterhouse bookmaking venture.
It is also far too early to consider robwaterhouse.com as a sole agency, but it would certainly suffice as an option for most punters, in conjunction with other agencies. Join RobWaterhouse.com - ENTER Promo Code Racing200