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Fiona Simmons January 2, 2024 3 min read
Man Who Stole £1.3M to Gamble Joins GambleAware to Help Others
May, who served as the finance manager of a company he had worked for for 20 years, had resorted to gambling with his company’s credit card
Andy May, a former addict who stole over a million pounds to gamble, opened up about his past, urging people to seek help before it is too late. In an interview with BBC, the 47-year-old man provided an insight into his unfortunate experience with gambling.
May started out as a casual punter who would bet on soccer for fun. At first, he would bet £5 to £10 every weekend. Over the years, he started wagering more and eventually, his gambling habits spiraled out of control.
May admitted that he knew he should not chase losses but did it nevertheless. In the end, he gambled away the deposit for his first home. Luckily, his family was there to support him, after which he swore to never gamble again.
Exercising his sheer willpower, May was able to avoid gambling for seven whole years. However, his addiction eventually made a return.
The Man Resorted to Stealing Money to Gamble
In 2014, May was watching the World Cup in Brazil when he saw an ad for a free £50 bet. Believing to have overcome his addiction, May returned to gambling and, within two weeks, was back to the betting levels he had finished at previously.
The man spent £50,000 in six months and then started taking credit to gamble. By February 2015, he was out of money. Because of that, May, who served as the finance manager of a company he had worked for for 20 years, resorted to gambling with his company’s credit card.
The man admitted that he gambled constantly and could not think of anything else. He admitted that no money would have been enough to satiate his desire to gamble.
May Spend Two Years in Prison
May’s fraud was eventually uncovered by his company and he was fired. By that time, he had spent over £1.3 million of his company’s money. After a year, the police contacted him.
May was sentenced to four years in prison in June 2021. Luckily, he was put in touch with the Epic Restart Foundation before he went inside. The charity foundation, May says, made all the difference.
May was released on license after two years. Luckily, he was able to find another job that helped him get his life back on track. In addition, the gambling companies he played with returned much of the company money he had stolen from his previous job, further helping him recover.
Looking back, May believes that his lowest point was not the two years he spent in prison but the time he spent gambling with money he did not have. He admitted that he fears that he might gamble again but is focused on making sure that he doesn’t.
May now volunteers with GambleAware and seeks to help other people by sharing his own experience. While he realizes that many people enjoy gambling without getting harmed, the man hopes to help those experiencing problem gambling. He encouraged people with gambling problems to speak out and seek help as soon as possible.