A 47-year-old man who stole £9,000 ($11,600) in chips from an Aberdeen casino has avoided jail, instead ordered to carry out 135 hours of unpaid work.
Plays blackjack then steals chips
Mahmudul Hasan, from Birmingham, a reported gambling addict, has been banned from every gambling venue in England. Turning his attention to Scotland, he went to the Rainbow Casino in Aberdeen in March, where he was arrested after a night out.
His crime, reports The Press and Journal, was the theft of £9,000 worth of chips from the venue. Before the theft, Hasan had played blackjack. He then stole a box containing the chips, hiding it under his jacket. He almost got away with the theft; however, when he returned to exchange £700 ($909) in cash, casino staff grew suspicious.
The police were eventually called to the casino after staff noticed the box was missing. After searching the street, officers located the box in a public waste bin. According to Hasan, he had help getting the container out of the building.
Returning to court Wednesday, Hasan was ordered to carry out 135 hours of unpaid work, avoiding a jail sentence.
Trust is lost
The issue of problem gambling is growing for many jurisdictions around the world. As it is often a hidden problem countless people can quickly find themselves in over their heads before seeking help or getting found out.
Earlier this month, it was reported that a mother-of-two from New Zealand had ignored the early warning signs that her husband was a gambler. Over a 10-year period, her husband took out loans from 10 different finance companies, gambling NZ$200,000 (£101,000; $132,000). As a result, the family were forced to sell their home and the couple’s 20-year marriage broke down.
Last December, a man from the UK pleaded guilty after stealing £1m ($1.30m) from his employer to fund his gambling addiction. The individual, who was in charge of the company accounts, was transferring the money from the business to his own account. He managed to continue this for more than three years.
Elsewhere, a care worker from the UK stole £8,000 ($10,400) from an 87-year-old woman’s bank account to gamble online. At the beginning of the year, it was reported that the theft took place over 10 months. Unfortunately, the woman died before realizing the full extent of the theft. Not only that, but she may have believed only £20 ($26) was taken. The money was later reimbursed by the deceased woman’s bank.
Tackling the problem
In a bid to solve the issue of problem gambling, jurisdictions worldwide are putting measures in place designed to help online addicts.
For instance, new rules came into force May 7 for all online gaming companies in the UK to complete age and ID checks on customers before they are allowed to play. Prior to the new changes, gambling companies had up to 72 hours to complete checks. The measure is intended to reduce gambling-related harm.
A new code of conduct in Denmark – effective July 1 – will come into force aimed at reducing problem gambling there. The new agreement will also limit the amount of gambling-related marketing, which can often be viewed by young children.
In Ireland, politicians are calling for stiffer regulations to tackle the country’s gambling problems.