One of the Sunday newspapers in Ireland reported over the weekend how a postal service manager had disappeared after it had been discovered that nearly two million Euros was unaccounted for at the Gorey Post Office and it is believed he had been wagering 20,000 Euros a day on Paddy Power.
Tony O’Reilly, 36, left home last Wednesday after the internal auditors discovered the discrepancies of Euor 1.76 million at the branch where he worked. The father of one made contact with a member of his family from an internet connection in Northern Ireland and was detained on Saturday after raising suspicion with a further 40,000 Euro bet.
The postal service manager left his home last Wednesday at 6:30am to drive to his post office job. O’Reilly later sent a text message to his wife and the company internal auditors claiming to have been in a car crash. Police investigated all the CCTV footage of the roads between his home and work and failed to find any evidence of the vehicle he used.
He was located in Belfast after he placed a bet of 40,000 Euros on an odds-on shot to win an additional 27,000 Euros at a bookie in the city. Both the Police and postal service are now investigating the major fraud and have interviewed employees to identify whether anyone else had any knowledge of the “black hole” in the post office finances.
A Paddy Power spokesman refused to comment on the incident: "Our relationship with our customers is private and we do not discuss individual customers. Should any of our customers have an issue with gambling, we have many measures in place to assist them"
According to the Guardian newspaper Tony O’Reilly was receiving medical help on Monday night. He is expected to be questioned over the missing money and other discrepancies at the branch.
There are regular stories in the media relating to online gambling, whether this is online bingo, poker or casino games. It seems that it is so easy to lose large amounts of money in such small periods of time online that is a real concern and clearly the current systems and regulation needs reviewing urgently.
Going forwards if legislation was passed whereby when crimes were committed to fund gambling habits the gambling operators were made liable then the online operators would take problem gambling a lot more seriously.