Tayside and Central Scotland

Dundee bookies worker faces jail over gambling scam

Gavin Thomson Image copyright Kingdom news agency
Image caption Gavin Thomson worked in branches of Coral in Dundee and Forfar

A staff member at a bookmakers who made himself over £40,000 from a gambling scam is facing jail.

Gavin Thomson, who worked for Coral in Dundee and Forfar, found a glitch in the company's computer system that let bets be placed after events finished.

He gave friends money to go into branches to place bets on events he knew the result of.

Thomson admitted the fraud which was carried out over less than three months.

Dundee Sherriff Court heard he was making up to £1,000 per shift by running the scam, making a total of £40,300.

Fiscal depute Saima Rasheed told the court Thomson, who worked as a manager's assistant, learned the glitch in the summer of 2015 and he asked customers and friends to place bets on his behalf.

Image caption The court heard Thomson had gambling problems

She said: "In January 2016 a regional risk assessor with Coral carried out an audit of payout made at the Forfar branch.

"It was discovered there was a problem with the computer system which allowed bets to be retrospectively placed for events that have passed, by changing the sport type when inputting the bet on to the system.

"The assessor discovered 64 bets placed after the events took place that had been processed by the accused in Forfar."

This loss at this branch was £17,500.

The assessor also found 55 bets placed after the events had taken place in Dundee, processed by Thomson - a loss of £22,800.

'Bad period'

In January 2016 Thomson was suspended by Coral and was later interviewed by police.

The court heard he had gambling problems which started when his daughter was born.

Ms Rasheed said: "He stated there was a glitch and he was going through a bad period of gambling and found it an easy way to get money back.

"He said when he found the glitch he used it to his advantage.

"He said he involved customers and replied that it was to cover his tracks.

Thomson, 27, of Viewmount, Forfar, pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud committed between October 2015 and January 2016.

Defence solicitor Sarah Russo said the father-of-one was a "genuine first offender".

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael deferred sentence until September for social work background reports and released Thomson on bail.

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