Two of the UK’s largest bookmakers have been accused of “exploiting a vulnerable person”, after they allowed a severely disabled man to gamble away an estimated £500,000.
Liam McCarron lost the money, from a medical compensation payment, betting with Ladbrokes and Paddy Power.
He had received the money for “catastrophic” injuries sustained during an operation, which left him with permanent speech and mobility difficulties.
McCarron described his gambling as “escapism” and admitted he “kind of got lost in this little bubble”.
it has caused irreparable damage to my family relationships
He also said: “The impact goes way beyond finances, though, as it has caused irreparable damage to my family relationships.”
Lawyers say the bookmakers, who were aware of their client’s difficulties, should have intervened sooner to help him with his problem.
Members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Gambling Related Harm have been shocked by the details of this case.
Chairwoman Carolyn Harris stated that the companies “should have intervened, but instead they kept on taking his money for years”.
Colleague Richard Holden MP added: “It’s absolutely unbelievable that predatory gambling companies were able to get away with exploiting a vulnerable person for years in this way.”