Obsessive online bingo player guilty of stealing £12k to fund habit

  • 20 Feb 10
  • Written by Charlotte Widmore

Online BingoAn obsessive online bingo player Sujata Chaudhry played so much internet bingo that she ended up owing a fortune on her credit cards, to clear her debts and fund her habit Sujata set about stealing £12,000 from her employer.   Sujata Chaudhry was employed in the admin department of NETA a training charity based in Middlesborough at the time of her offences.  Teeside Crown Court has been hearing the case against Ms Chaudhry.  The accused woman pleaded guilty to the three fraud charges which resulted in an 8 months prison sentence suspended for 12 months.

Guilty woman has 28 days to pay money back plus fine

Ms Chaudhry has inherited a substantial sum form her dead father’s estate and so will be able to pay back the money stolen.  The court has given her 28 days to repay the £12,519 plus costs of £340. The judge Bryan Forster QC, in his summing up stated that he felt that Ms Chaudhry was addicted to online bingo and advised her to seek help should she be tempted again.  He said of her situation that “It is very much in your interest to discuss any ongoing problems you have with your probation officer so that you do not get into this situation again.”

Problem gamblers who steal are thankfully rare

The vast majority of online bingo players play their games responsibly, never playing with more cash than they can afford to lose. However rarely we come across a story where a player becomes so obsessed that they turn to crime to fund their passion.

Thankfully cases like Sujata Chaudhry’s are extremely rare, which is exactly why stories like this actually reach the news, certainly if these were every day occurrences then they wouldn’t be in the press but would be regarded as no more than a sad fact of life.  The online bingo industry must never become complacent in their support for online bingo players who develop problems controlling their gambling.  Thankfully the big names in the industry are all well aware of the dangers and are committed to providing help.  For instance players only need to visit sites like Foxy Bingo to find links to counselling websites such as GAMCARE and helpful ways to determine if they might have a problem and information on how to set Player Protection limits on their account.

 

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