The assistant manager of a bingo club in Great Yarmouth, Norwich has recently been caught with his fingers in the till after arousing suspicion when he failed to deposit sufficient takings at the bank.
Thomas De Wilton Holmes might sound like a well-to-do young chap, but obviously had drained his own funds dry due to a nasty gambling addiction which left him with mounting debts which he was unable to pay off.
The 30-year-old, having worked at the Palace Bingo club in Great Yarmouth’s Church Plain area for seven years, he turned his attention to the club’s funds a year ago, pocketing over £64,000. The problem started when he won £11,000 whilst gambling online, and was unable to stop himself from trying to win more cash. Rather than banking his winnings and quitting while he was ahead, Thomas lost all his money, and his financial situation became increasingly desperate.
In July 2012, Norwich Crown Court heard that the Palace club’s management team only noticed the missing takings after De Wilton Holmes failed to bank them. Further investigations then revealed that he had stolen a total of £64,373 over the previous twelve-month period. The 30-year-old who lives on East Road, Great Yarmouth, pleaded guilty to theft and was imprisoned for a year.
The presiding judge, Stephen Holt, told the court he believed that De Wilton Holmes’ addiction was the result of his original gambling win, and that the player had felt the urge to win more, but failed to succeed in his attempts. Mr. De Wilton Holmes’ defence team told the jury that his client expressed genuine remorse for his actions and that if it wasn’t for his hazardous habit, “he would have never committed any sort of offence.” The judge sentenced the defendant to his year-long prison spell on the morning of 23rd July 2012.
The ex-bingo hall assistant manager now plans to seek help from the support group, Gamblers Anonymous (details can be found on our Responsible Gaming tab), and will have plenty of opportunity to face up to the error of his ways and reform before being released from prison.
If you are worried that you, a friend or loved one might be addicted to gambling, you can find more information and support at GambleAware.co.uk. In addition, Bingo Hideout would like to remind our players that we never recommend you spend more money playing games online than you can afford to lose. Bingo should be fun, so let’s keep it that way.