Gambling addictions are becoming an increasing problem in many countries around the world, including, or especially, so, here in the UK. This type of addiction is devastating; it could even leave the addict penniless in short order. Many gambling addicts will not even realise that they have a problem, until, that is, it becomes an obvious and unavoidable issue.
A gambling addiction can change a person’s mindset, and soon all he or she will think about is gambling. This can be extremely problematic as the affected individual can end up losing more than just their sound state of mind; many will lose their families, homes, and jobs too.
One man who resorted to theft in order to fund his gambling addiction is 40-year old Darren Farr of Grimsby. Farr was a store manager for Cash Convertors and stole more than £23,000 from his employers to pay for his gambling addiction that had ‘spiralled out of control’. At his trial, the court heard how he had gambled away every penny of a £10,000 inheritance he had received, and that his dishonesty was the ‘grossest abuse of the position of trust’ he held.
Farr pleaded guilty to seven offences of fraud and three of converting or transferring criminal property between October 2013 and March 2015. Prosecuting barrister Ian Goldsack explained that Farr had worked for the company since 2000 and had worked his way up to a managerial position.
In March 2015, a company director was informed of significant losses, which concerned cash transfers that could not be accounted for; Farr had managed to steal £23,000 over the two years, which he later admitted was used to fund his gambling addiction. He told the court how his addiction had spiralled out of control and that he had gambled the £23,000, a £10,000 inheritance and had even re-mortgaged his house for £40,000.
Andrew Bailey, mitigating, informed the court that Farr had admitted his wrongdoings to both the authorities and his employers and that this was the first time he had resorted to any form of crime. It all started with a loan that was not accepted, and then viciously spiralled from there. Mr Bailey added, “He is a man who has lost everything. It’s his own fault. It was linked to a gambling addiction for which he is now seeking help. He hasn’t gambled for six months. He is still going to Gamblers’ Anonymous meetings and finds them very helpful.”
In addition, Farr was in £18,000 of debt to friends, loan companies and for an overdraft, but the court heard that he had been making attempts to pay the funds back. “He wants to clear his debts, and he will have to start all over again. He is genuinely remorseful. He bitterly regrets his actions. He has got himself into all sorts of financial difficulties,” said Mr Bailey.
Farr was handed a sixteen-month suspended jail term along with 220 hours of unpaid work and five days in rehabilitation to combat his severe gambling addiction. Judge Paul Watson QC said, “You took the foolish view that gambling could be a quick solution to your problems and that, having started, it got out of hand. But the way you funded your gambling was by the grossest abuse of the position of trust you had working for Cash Converters in a managerial role. You helped yourself. This was a gross abuse of trust over a long period of time.”
Gambling addictions are often easily hidden as there are so many ways to partake in this activity. There are endless amounts of betting shops around the country, along with numerous betting apps that allow anybody to gamble from the comfort of their own home.
These apps can be problematic at the best of times for friends and family of affected individuals as it can be difficult for them to know if their addicted loved one is gambling or not. These apps are accessible 24/7 and will allow anyone who claims to be over the age of eighteen to bet, often with high stakes.
If you are concerned that you or a loved one is suffering from a gambling addiction, it is important that you seek professional help. At UKAT, we specialise in tackling gambling addictions, and the treatment that we suggest for you will be tailored to your specific needs so that it is the most beneficial for your situation.
It is natural to feel nervous or even frightened of entering a rehabilitation clinic; in most cases, it is the fear of the unknown that is the biggest issue. However, our priority is to ensure that you overcome your addiction and feel comfortable throughout the process. If you require any further information or have any queries, do not hesitate to contact us today and we will be more than happy to assist you.
If you successfully complete our 90-day inpatient treatment program, we guarantee you'll stay clean and sober, or you can return for a complimentary 30 days of treatment.