Betfred Suffolk Boss Stole Thousands to Fund Gambling Habit

By Simon Wright, Last updated Jun 30, 2023

The area manager of Betfred for the Suffolk area, handed himself in to police after stealing in excess of £42,000 from the bookies, Ipswich Crown Court has heard. 47 year old Michael Gateshill admitted his guilt in court to stealing from his former employer to fund his gambling habit.

Gateshill who had overall responsibility for 50 Betfred shops in the county of Suffolk and in excess of 200 employees, stole from the bookmaker during the period of June 1st 2017 and October 6th 2018.

Judge John Devaux who sentenced Gateshill to a 20 month jail term, suspended for 2 years, noted that Gateshill had stalled his bosses when they queried  the whereabouts of £37,000. With Gateshill using the excuse that the monies were located in a safe at Foxhall Stadium, Kesgrave, but was inaccessible due to an issue with asbestos at the stadium.

Representing Gateshill in court, David Wilson said that his client had a gambling addiction, which he now recognised and was subsequently receiving help for. Wilson also told the court that his client had gambled away over £50,000 he had received in a divorce settlement and that he had also borrowed £24,000 from family, which he still owed. With his client finding himself in a “gambling black hole.”

In further mitigation, Wilson also stated that his client had contemplated taking his life, when he realised he was unable to return the monies to his employer.

In addition to the suspended sentence imposed on Gateshill, Judge Devaux also gave a 20 day rehabilitation activity requirement and 120 hours of community service.

Simon Wright

Simon Wright has been both a player and an observer of the online casino industry for over 15 years. His knowledge of the online casino industry – to include sports is massive. Not many folks have the experience or his knowledge about online gambling. His adoration of football is also noted. He has painted his house blue (Chelsea) and annoys his neighbors with local football songs on game days.

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