Gambling Operators to Fund Gambling Addiction Research

June 7th, 2019 2.00pm

Faced with alarming gambling addiction statistics, experts from England are demanding a revision of the 2005 Gambling Act which would impose a levy on the gambling companies and involve the Department of Health and Social Care.

The Government to Assume More Active Role in Gambling Addiction Prevention

Despite the increasing number of active gamblers within the UK (recent estimates report around 33M online gambling accounts), the funds spent on prevention are negligible, especially compared to New Zealand. Unlike the British government that spent only £1.5M in 2018 on gambling-related issues, the Kiwis are taking their welfare more seriously – their annual prevention budget is fixed at £9.3M for a population of 4.7M!

According to experts, in light of the recent rise of underage gambling, the far-reaching consequences and potential harm are underestimated – blatantly disregarded even, some claim. The 2016 study shows disturbing statistics – 14% of children between 11-16 have been caught gambling for an extended period of time (over a week) and more than 50,000 have reported some sort of addiction problem.

The “Comic” Side of Compulsive Behaviour

Although the infamous case of the two nuns stealing over $500,000 took place across the ocean, it definitely serves as a cautionary tale as to what may occur when a habit swirls out of control.

This is exactly what happened to Southern California St James Catholic school principal and her spiritual sister, who, blinded by the earthly riches stole $500K and spent them on gambling trips.

The jig was up in the Summer of 2018 after the LA archdiocese performed a routine audit of the school before the pious Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper was due to retire. During the audit, an old check was discovered and traced to an unknown account, which triggered an internal investigation.

Kreuper, who opened the account in 1997, would use it to divert the fees and tuition checks, endorsed with “St James Convent” stamp. The two besties would then use the account to fund their Las Vegas gambling escapades and make a mockery of their vow of poverty.

The frequent Las Vegas Strip visits did not go unnoticed by the parents, who were told that the nuns have a generous rich uncle willing to fund their lavish lifestyle. Little did they know that it was their tuition money paying for the gambling sprees and complusive slots habit.

Once confronted, the nuns confessed their sins, however, the school reportedly decided to turn the other cheek and not pursue criminal charges. One of the reasons is that the good Sisters are willing to repay the money, which they probably managed to turn into a hefty profit considering the duration of the affair.

“Sister Mary Margaret and Sister Lana (Chang) have expressed to me and asked that I convey to you the deep remorse they each feel for their actions and ask for your forgiveness and prayers” stated the pastor at St James, Monsignor Michael Meyers.

The parents seem less inclined to forgive and forget; those who feel that the sisters deserve compassion as victims of their own addiction are a minority, and some parents consider banding together to press legal charges.

The willingness of Kreuper and Chang to take responsibility for their actions and return the money, may, in fact, indicate a serious addiction rather than antisocial behaviour. Had these individuals recognized the problem and sought appropriate help, it is safe to assume that the consequences might have been less severe. Not all are equally concerned about the incident and some go as far as to claim that the Catholic church and the parents of Catholic schools’ attendees might have more pressing things on their agenda than two thieving nuns…



Nun Displaying Alarming Behaviour