Dundee Bookies Worker Faces Jail Over Gambling Fraud

Coral Betting Shop

A bookies worker who netted himself more than £40,000 from a gambling scam is facing jail.

Gavin Thomson, a staff member at Coral in Dundee and Forfar, discovered a glitch in the bookmaker’s computer system that allowed bets to be placed after events had taken place.

The man gave friends money and asked them to visit branches to place bets on events that he already knew the results of.

Thomson admitted the scam which he committed between October 2015 and January 2016.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard on Tuesday that the fraud was bringing him up to £1,000 per shift. He made £40,300 in total in less than 3 months.

Fiscal depute Saima Rasheed told the court that Thomson was working as a manager’s assistant at Coral’s Dundee and Forfar branches at the time he committed the scam.

“In the summer of 2015 the accused learned that a glitch in the system enabled him to allow late bets placed by customers,” said Rasheed.

“He began to ask customers and friends to place bets in the Dundee and Forfar stores on his behalf and he would provide them with stake money.”

According to Rasheed, a regional risk assessor with Coral implemented an audit of payout made at the Forfar store in January 2016. The glitch in the computer system was then revealed: one only has to change the sports type when inputting the bet into the system to place bets on past events. The assessor found out that Thomson had processed 64 bets placed after the events had finished, resulting in a total loss of £17,500 at the Forfar branch.

55 bets placed on past events were discovered at the Dundee store, also processed by Thomson. The branch in Dundee suffered from a total loss of £22,800.

A Bad Period of Gambling

Thomson, 27, revealed to the police during an interview that he had been going through a bad period of gambling and the glitch had provided him with an easy way to get money back.

The father-of-one pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud. Sheriff Alastair Carmichael deferred sentence until September for social work background reports and Thomson has been released on bail at the meantime.