Internet Gambler loses £158,000 in less than an hour

By Derek Sooman on June 17, 2006, 5:21 AM
I've got friends who gamble. I've never understood it myself - if you wanna make money for doing next to nothing, there's plenty of more sure things than betting on some horse or what card someone will turn up next. But when quizzed, these friends speak about the thrill that gambling gives them. Itís about the excitement, and excitement can be very addictive indeed.

In recent years, some of my gambling friends have found a new place to practice their vice - the Internet. By visiting sites like Betfair, they are able to place bets on football, horses, cards and all other sorts with remarkable ease. But is it just all a bit too easy?

Richard Mahan probably thinks so. This 25 year old from Angus in Scotland recently lost a whopping £158,000 in less than an hour in an Internet gambling spree. Mahan, who later tried to kill himself after running up the massive debt, utilised his parents' credit cards to run up the debt in 50 minutes. Wow.

The case has prompted calls for urgent action on what Mahan's solicitor described as "the scourge of the 21st century". Its of no doubt that Internet gambling needs some kind of review - if its possible to loose such a great amount in so little time, just by using credit cards, then something is very wrong somewhere.

The Gamblers Anonymous website has many similar stories of addition to Internet gambling, albeit sometimes for not quite so vast sums. One gambling addict said: "I sit in front of my computer every day....I'm desperate to stop but it's taken over. A one off gamble turns into a marathon gambling session, usually trying to get back what I've lost."




User Comments: 7

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zerocount said:
What an *****! My God...
mentaljedi said:
I'm not suprised... its like when your gaming. You get so desperate to finish the darn level you can go on for hours for example. That kind of addiction is the same with gambling, abeit a lot more worse.
Electrick Gypsy said:
I watched a friend pour AU$200 into a machine after a meal one evening and walk away after 10 minutes $200 poorer.I suggested that next time they give me the $200 and push buttons on my mobile phone for a few minutes and I'll give them $100 back.Same thing, except I can promise a 50% return every time.It's a mugs game.You always hear them telling the world that they won 7 grand or something . . . but they don't seem to realise that they've spent 30 grand before that one lucky win.Casino's etc wouldn't be in this business if people were going to win.
canadian said:
Gambling can be fun, and not a bad thing, if you show control, and not go overboard. Decide like, I have $20, I will play until it is gone, then go home, or something like that.
DragonMaster said:
It's hard to stop if you ended up with more than $20 after that. You'll want to try again in case you win an other time...
mechachrome said:
[b]Originally posted by DragonMaster:[/b][quote]It's hard to stop if you ended up with more than $20 after that. You'll want to try again in case you win an other time...[/quote]I disagree, ive been to vegas a number of times an only play with a set amount. After it's gone i no longer play.
aksd said:
[b]Originally posted by canadian:[/b][quote]Gambling can be fun, and not a bad thing, if you show control, and not go overboard. Decide like, I have $20, I will play until it is gone, then go home, or something like that.[/quote]Yeh that's the way to go. Bring only $20 with you and once it's gone quit. If you win then take your $20 from the winnings and don't spend it; only use the winnings to continue till you're done.
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