WEEKEND READ: IAS may be smart bet

Veteran bookmaker Mark Read is upping sticks in his struggling gaming outfit International All Sports. But with results on the rebound, the company may not have run its race just yet.

Veteran bookmaker Mark Read is a natural-born actor. Back 30 years ago, when horse racing was the biggest game in town, Read ruled Australia’s betting rings at the tender age of 28 by being the most theatrical bookie in Australia. Even now he’s full of stories about what he calls "the golden age”.

Like the time Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Packer were both at his bookmakers stand in the Flemington betting ring, haggling over bets. "I told them they’d missed the good prices and they could take what they were offered,” Read recalls.

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