The evidence that people from poorer social backgrounds are much likelier to gamble and resort to crime is well-documented. The case of Ricardo Randev is just the latest example of a person who took to drug dealing to cover a gambling debt that was beyond his means. Randev, who was apprehended by police in Cronton last year and appeared in the Liverpool Crown Court on Monday was arrested in possession of cocaine worth £57,000 ($74,000).
Randev’s Story Is Not of Crime, But Addiction
The man, who had a well-documented gambling addiction, found it impossible to pay a £13,000 ($17,000) outstanding gambling debt, which prompted him to seek desperate measures. He pled guilty with the court and detailed his descent into gambling. The man turned to a loan shark who gave him the £13,000 needed to cover a gambling debt, but Randev only ended up gambling the money away as well.
In delivering the sentence, Judge David Potter acknowledged the difficulties that Randev had to deal with during his struggle with gambling addiction. The judge acknowledged that Randev tried to ween off the habit and cited evidence about how difficult this process was for the defendant.
Randev had maxed out numerous credit cards and took loans from different financial institutions in a bid to quash debt, but only ended up turning back to gambling. The judge explained:
“This led you into significant debt including repayments on your own home. Your addiction to gambling continued and was escalating.”
Judge David Potter
Judge Potter acknowledged all of these extenuating circumstances that push Randev into a vicious circle in which he almost had no control of himself. The judge said that Randev has shown the strength of character for accepting the charges. Randev is the sole ward of his elderly mother whom he has been taking care of.
Randev to Serve Prison Sentence
Regardless, Judge Potter had to sentence him to three years in jail despite the circumstances of the defendant’s addiction and his mother’s dependency on him. Randev’s lawyer said that coming to court on Monday, his client did not inform his mother that he could end up in jail. Randev’s story should serve as an example of the upcoming Gambling Act 2005 review. The defendant clearly had no misdemeanors but gambling addiction pushed him into a vicious circle of crime. This is precisely what the gambling laws should address now with those of lower-income and social status always at a disproportionate risk of developing a serious problem and come in the way of harm.