New Zealand Roofer with Gambling Addiction Claims He’s “No Scumbag”

Man repairing a roof
A New Zealand roofer with a gambling addiction owes AUS$400,000 in tax.

30-second summary:

  • Roofer gambled around AU$50,000 a week
  • Gambled AU$300,000 (£165,000; $215,000) job profits
  • Banned himself from every TAB outlet four months ago

A gambling addict from New Zealand said he was “no scumbag” after his roofing company went into liquidation with more than AU$400,000 (£219,000; $287,000) in tax debts.

Gambled his profits

Macaulay Marchant, a roofer from Christchurch, New Zealand, is reported to have gambled around AU$50,000 (£27,000; $36,000) a week and owed AU$400,000 in tax, reports Stuff.

The report said that as a result Marchant put his company, Essential Roofing Limited, into voluntary liquidation. The roofer noted that he had an elite membership with Totalisator Agency Board (TAB), an online racing and sports betting website in Australia.

Marchant was placing bets of AU$15,000 (£8,000; $11,000) on a horse race and AU$10,000 (£5,000; $7,000) on sports. He said he had spent the profits from his jobs on gambling.

“I had a million-dollar job last year so I made about $300,000 . . . I gambled it all. Some people have a P habit, I had a gambling habit,” he said.

“I’m no scumbag”

Because of the “potential threat” his gambling habit was presenting, he banned himself from every TAB outlet four months ago.

Speaking of liquidating his company in New Zealand, he said: “I’m not a scumbag . . . I’m not running away. However, I put myself in a pickle, I’m behind and the only thing I’m worried about now is sorting it.”

One of Marchant’s customers is reported to have paid him more than AU$15,000 to paint his roof last year. The work had yet to be finished.

Abusing position of trust

For many people gambling doesn’t impact the way they live. However, for others it can have a negative effect on their day-to-day lives.

Last month, it was reported that a care worker had stolen £8,000 ($10,400) from an 87-year-old woman so that she could continue her online gambling. The 87-year-old was unaware of how much had been stolen from her. Also last month, a British accountant was jailed for five years following the theft of more than £400,000 ($503,000) from her employers over a seven-year period, which was spent on gambling.

A man from the UK, who was in charge of the accounts at the company he worked for, pleaded guilty to stealing £1 million ($1.26 million) from his employer to fund his gambling habit. A report from mid-December notes that this went on for over three years.

Even in areas you wouldn’t necessarily think of, theft to fund gambling is taking place. Even in the Catholic church.

Nuns stole from church

In December, it was reported that two nuns had stolen as much as $500,000 (£400,000) from a Catholic school in California and spent it in Las Vegas over a 10-year period for weekends of fun. Notably, while the pair admitted their guilt, it was reported, at the time, that the church had decided not to press charges.

September saw a report coming in regarding a Card Player magazine employee who was charged with embezzling around $1.1 million (870,000) during her employment. Between 2011 and 2016, she was the magazine’s financial controller. She was eventually arrested in May in Hawaii and charged at the end of August.

Back in April 2018, a 79-year-old man received five years of probation, fines, and a restitution order for embezzling around $37,000 (29,200) from his church’s charity-poker profits. This took place over a two-year period.

These are just a few of the cases where people have abused their position of trust in order to fund their gambling habits. It shows that even in the most unlikeliest of places you never can tell what’s going on behind closed doors. It does, though, paint a picture and shows how it doesn’t matter who the person is or their station in life, gambling can have a profound impact on their lives and those around them.

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