PHOTO: Illustration: John Shakespeare.

The alleged plight of real estate guru John McGrath calls to minds an anecdote, probably apocryphal, from the late Lord Lucan.

“Do you gamble?” Lord Lucan asked a friend.

She replied that, like most people, she enjoyed the odd flutter on the horses.

“Gambling is when you bet something you cannot afford to lose,” was Lord Lucan’s reply.

McGrath has admitted he likes the occassional flutter but rubbished claims that he owes more than $16 million to Australia’s least favourtie bookie: Tom Waterhouse.