Using someone else’s money to gamble
A 23-year-old Japanese man has been jailed after stealing AU$140,000 (£75,400; $96,300) from his employer before gambling it at a Melbourne, Australia casino.
Last October, cash-strapped Takuro Yanagida helped himself to his boss’s money after opening the suitcase where the money was with a key. He then proceeded to the Crown Casino in Melbourne before losing all of it over four hours, reports ABC News.
County court judge Robert Dyer described Yanagida as “naive, amateurish and unsophisticated.”
Yanagida, who had developed a gambling habit prior to his trip to Melbourne, has already served 207 days in pre-sentence detention. He will need to serve another month before he is released and deported back to Japan. In total, he will have been detained for eight months.
After losing the money during a “panic-driven, opportunistic crime,” Yanagida denied his involvement. However, it was only when Crown Casino staff identified him that he came clean.
Judge Dyer said at the sentencing: “Your offending may have been initiated by a naive belief that you could use Mr. Kotani’s [your employer’s] money to win at the casino and pay off your financial situation. The loss of $140,000 has significantly impacted on his business activities while in Australia.
Unfortunately, in this case, not only did he lose his boss’s money, but he ended up in jail and probably lost his job as a result. It is not known if he will have to repay the $140,000 to his boss. If he does, that’s an extra bill on top of his gambling debts that he’ll have to pay off once he is released.
Getting in over your head
Problem gambling is receiving increased attention nowadays as people become more aware of the impact it can have on people’s lives.
Known as a silent problem, a person we pass in the street may have a gambling addiction, but we won’t know anything about it. Often going undetected for many years, gamblers can find ways in which they can continue to gamble even when they don’t have the money to do so.
In some cases, this may involve using their employer’s finances.
This was the case for one British man who pleaded guilty after stealing £1m ($1.26m) from his employer to continue gambling. According to a report from December, Steve Girling would play £100 ($127) a spin on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) , spinning every few seconds.
Due to the impact that FOBTs have had on people’s lives, with some bettors losing up to £18,000 ($23,000) an hour, the UK government lowered the stake limit from £100 down to £2 ($2.50) in April.
In another report, a Card Player magazine employee was charged with embezzling around $1.1m (£865,000) from her employer when she was the company’s financial controller from 2011 to 2016. And two nuns reportedly stole $500,000 (£392,000) from a Catholic school in California to travel to Las Vegas for weekends away over a 10-year period before they were eventually found out.