While most people who gamble, do so responsibly, there are some whose gambling habits quickly spiral out of control. A gambling addiction is often described as a hidden or secret addiction because there are no outward signs to give it away. Those affected often gamble without their loved ones realising. It is usually only when their lives are beginning to fall apart that others become aware of the problem.
Many individuals with a gambling addiction will take desperate measures to get their hands on the funds required to satisfy their craving. This may mean taking out loans or multiple credit cards, or it may mean constantly borrowing from family members and friends. Others may get to the point where they turn to crime when all other avenues have been exhausted. This is what happened with Gaby Stone, the former manager of Olympic gold medallist Greg Rutherford.
Stone’s need to fund his gambling addiction led him to steal over £48,000 from the Olympic long jumper; Rutherford has said he has been left ‘feeling sick’ by Stone’s dishonesty.
In a court case, Stone admitted to charges of fraud by abuse of position and was sentenced to eighteen months in prison. It was revealed that between 2014 and 2015, he had stolen money from Rutherford that had been paid in appearance fees and sponsorship.
Stone’s crippling gambling addiction led him to take the money, which has now been fully repaid by his family members and friends. His solicitor, Julia Flanagan, said, “He simply wants to say repeatedly to the court he is very sorry that he did this and he hopes the upset to Mr Rutherford is something he will move on from.”
However, an impact statement written by Rutherford was read out during court. It said, “The thought that someone who had been responsible for a large part of my life and someone I had put my trust in to handle a major source of my income had been dishonest has left me feeling sick.”
Despite the submission of character references from two other Olympian clients, Judge John Hillen took the decision to jail Stone for eighteen months. He said, “One of your clients was the Olympic long jumper, Greg Rutherford. You and he had a written contract which was that you should keep 20 per cent of the gross income which you generated for him and he the remaining 80 per cent.”
Speaking about how Stone had lied to Rutherford about losing money on a bad investment, Judge Hillen said, “You lied to him because what you were doing was to repeatedly betray the trust that he had placed in you by letting your finances get into such a state that you were spending money on gambling that should have been part of your business.”
It was only when Rutherford requested that his accountants assess the amount of money that had been lost that Stone admitted the theft and his gambling addiction. After repeatedly trying to get the money repaid from Stone, Rutherford was left with no choice but to sack him and press charges. Judge Hillen added, “It’s only as a result of this prosecution that friends and family have rallied round to give you the money to repay Mr Rutherford. The delay to which your counsel referred is entirely down to you.”
Help for Gambling Addiction
While most people think of drugs or alcohol when they hear the word ‘addiction’, a growing number of people are struggling with gambling addiction. Many believe this has a lot to do with the ease of access to gambling that people have these days.
Online gambling has become much more accessible than it used to be, and nowadays almost everyone has a smartphone or other mobile device capable of accessing the internet. This means that provided they have internet and a bank account, anyone can open an online gambling account.
With enticements of free bets for new accounts, it is unsurprising that so many individuals are hoping to win big by gambling online. Although most manage to gamble responsibly, others will go on to develop a crippling gambling addiction that can destroy their lives.
If you are worried about your own or a family member’s gambling addiction, contact us here at Liberty House Clinic today. We help people overcome all types of addiction. We can create bespoke treatment plans designed to work around the needs of the individual patient, and our facilities offer a comfortable and safe haven for those who want to recover from their illness.
For more information on our programmes or clinic, please feel free to get in touch via this website or by calling our 24-hour helpline today.
Source: Greg Rutherford’s ex manager jailed after conning long jumper out of £48,000 to fund gambling addiction (Mirror.co.uk)