The body of high-profile racing and sports betting identity Wade Annear was found on Friday afternoon outside a luxury Perth apartment building, prompting police to launch an investigation into his death.
The 42-year-old, who ran TAB’s Sportsbet for seven years before starting rival agency Bettingwest in 2008, was seen falling to his death.
It is believed Mr Annear, the son of retired businessman and horse owner Roy Annear, was visiting a friend on the 10th floor of the Altair Apartments on Terrace Road when he fell about 4.45pm.
Police at present believe there are no suspicious circumstances and will prepare a report for the Coroner.
But it is understood Mr Annear’s family have concerns about the way he died and whether someone else was involved.
“It seemed he was in a good headspace at the time and so it doesn’t make sense,” a former friend of Mr Annear’s said.
“He was a resilient person who stands up in the face of adversity.”
A racing industry insider said Mr Annear was a genius who knew more about sports betting when he began at the Government-owned TAB than anyone in WA.
He was touted as a potential chief executive of Racing and Wagering WA until quitting the agency in 2007 to establish private company Bettingwest with Perth businessman Denis McInerney.
When the company collapsed in 2009 owing punters more than $400,000, Mr Annear, who had a high media profile, had a tough time.
He had been at loggerheads with his former employer since starting Bettingwest and was furious when racing authorities suspended his business for a month.
Mr Annear was also called to testify at the trial of an RWWA employee accused of corruption.
“Everything seemed to go wrong for him when he got involved with Bettingwest,” an industry insider said. “It’s one of the most tragic career stories you’ll hear.”
Mr Annear dropped off the racing and betting radar in 2010 and went to live and study law in Melbourne. When he returned to Perth about a year later, he got involved with a seafood import-export project.
“He always had a very strong belief in himself and what he was trying to achieve and that may have cost him in a business sense,” the former friend said.