Editorial: Gambling ruins another family

Gambling has destroyed the life of another prominent Tulsan.

A former banking vice president has been accused of stealing almost $200,000 from his bank to pay off gambling debts.

He is charged with writing a check for tens of thousands of dollars from a bank customer’s account to give to his bookie.

The federal charges claim he got into trouble with his gambling and stole money from the bank for over at least a five-year period. He manipulated lines of credit, got false advances for loans and siphoned customer overdrafts, according to the charges.

The feds also charged that he lied about loans.

His brother pled guilty to embezzling three times that amount from the same bank. Both are facing federal tax complaints, too.

Thank goodness the bank investigated and none of the customers lost any money.

Here’s the stark reality. These two men probably are not criminals at heart. They certainly started gambling and when they began to lose – which everyone does eventually – they panicked and tried to find money to cover their losses.

Gambling is ruining not only the lives of desperate gamblers behind on their debts but there are destroying marriages, families, career, reputations and ultimately lives.

Because Oklahoma has around 130 casinos and a state lottery, no one can escape if they have a desire to gamble. And a certain percentage will destroy their futures by falling into the trap of the allure of riches through winning.

Players don’t win. Casinos always win.

Oklahoma has charted a course to encourage gambling and lives are being left in the dust.