A former gambling addict who spent 8 months in jail for siphoning money from his employer is now collaborating with bookmakers to fine-tune a gambling app that helps protect others at risk.
Dedicated to Helping Others
David Bradford, a 64-year old former accountant, who piled half a million in debt before being found to have stolen £50,000 from his employer and sentenced to jail, and his son have been working for the past 2 years with industry operators to help develop the BetProtect app and assist people to gamble responsibly.
“Even the last seven years since Dad came out of jail has been very difficult for our family, but the terrible impact on us has been the inspiration for our work with the industry to provide an extra layer of support for those at risk.”Adam, David Bradford’s eldest son
According to the former financial controller who was earning £70,000 a year, if the app was available by his time, it would have prevented him from doing what he had done and saved him. At least now, it became his lifelong job, looking to “do something to prevent people’s descent into addiction”.
Developed as not-for-profit, the app provides gamblers with “take a break” information, help and education, while giving them reason to pause and contemplate.
Besides the information, videos, podcasts and even a diary, the app provides gamblers with advice from therapists and counselors, as well as other people who have suffered the consequences of excessive gambling. The app also links gamblers to a helpline and clinics.
One thing the app does not do is block people from betting, leaving that to operators to do separately. A number of them have already taken the app while the father and son are in talks with others in the UK and US.
Driven by Personal Disaster
For David Bradford who lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, life turned upside down in 2014 when he was found guilty of fraud and was sentenced to 8 months in prison. Stealing from his employers, racking up loans and debts to banks and card companies, as well as re-mortgaging his home, was all part of the gambling-driven behavior of the former accountant who even had an active bet on the day of his court case.
Bradford successfully managed to hide his wrongdoings from his family, including the trial against him, and when a solicitor rang the family to tell them that he was sentenced to jail, it was like a shock for his wife and three sons. Luckily, his eldest, Adam, pulled all the stops to unravel the debts and help the family stay afloat.
While his father was in HMP Altcourse in Liverpool, the 28-year-old was already advocating gambling reforms, and when David was released, they both set up the Safer Online Gambling Group as a starting point for their efforts to help people at risk of developing a gambling addiction.