Reformed Gambler Who Blew Hundreds of Thousands in Stolen Money Fighting to Claw It Back from Bookmakers

Posted on: December 11, 2018, 07:58h. 

Last updated on: December 11, 2018, 07:58h.

A remorseful gambling addict who stole hundreds of thousands of pounds from wealthy clients in Dubai and squandered it in UK bookmaking shops is trying to make things right for his victims.

William Hill
An anonymous gambling addict alleges he staked £650,000 in two William Hill shops over six months, losing £150,000, and often bringing his stake in sports bags stuffed with cash. (Image: William Hill)

The Guardian reports the man — whose name has been withheld by the newspaper — is cooperating with two victim compensation claims that seek to claw money back from William Hill and Paddy Power.

Attorneys from law firm Mackrell Turner Garrett, acting on behalf of the victims, have said they are preparing lawsuits after the bookmakers failed to offer a voluntary settlement agreement within the allotted time. They are seeking around $600,000 from William Hill and $965,000 from Paddy Power

The Guardian does not specify how much the man stole nor whether the compensation figures relate to the exact amount he lost. The gambler said he stole the money while working in the property market in Dubai and cannot return there because he will be arrested.

Sports Bags Stuffed With Cash

After receiving treatment for his addiction, he confessed to British police who have not pressed charges because his crimes were committed abroad and he is seeking redress for his victims.

The former gambler showed The Guardian betting receipts to prove he staked £650,000 in two William Hill shops over six months, losing £150,000. He claimed he brought sports bags stuffed with cash into the outlets and asked staff to put them behind the counter for safekeeping — likely a serious anti-money laundering violation, if true.

But documents seen by The Guardian also show that William Hill staff asked whether he was comfortable with the stakes he was betting, before filing an internal report flagging his behavior. Three months later, the company wrote to the gambler asking about the source of his funds — which it is required to do for those gambling with large amounts of money — but by this point he had already gambled £458,000.

Paddy Power Fined £2.2 Million

We are aware of a number of allegations by [name withheld] and have been waiting for months for them to be substantiated,” a spokesperson for William Hill told The Guardian. “We continue to await this information and note he has not been subject to any police investigation or prosecution with regards to the alleged thefts.”

The Paddy Power claim has already been investigated by the UK Gambling Commission and formed part of a $2.2 million fine, imposed by the regulator on the company in October.

“I want to help the victims who have suffered from this, expose gambling companies for how they behave and help other gamblers like me and make them aware that there’s help out there,” said the anonymous former gambler.

“I’m happy to face any criminal action that may come, I’ll do anything I can to help my victims get their money back.”