Insolvency Service clamps down on bankrupt gamblers and speculators

Alys Key
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Gamblers who abuse the rules could lose access to credit (Source: Getty)

The Insolvency service is clamping down on those who have become bankrupt due to 'gambling, speculation or unnecessary extravagance'.

The number of Bankruptcy Restriction Orders (BROs) filed against gamblers has increased 150 per cent in the last two years alone, according to accountancy firm Moore Stephens.

BROs limit an individual’s access to credit and can prevent them from becoming a director of a company for up to 15 years.

High-profile cases of individuals issued with BROs from last year include Willie Thorne, a former pro snooker player who gambled away money borrowed from friends and acquaintances.

Another man, Stuart Mudge, operated an £8.5m spread-betting scheme without FCA approval, and was declared bankrupt when he could not pay the £7m fine

The rise coincides with a growing number of people in the UK who regularly gamble, driven by accessibility through online platforms. The Gambling Commission revealed earlier this year that 48 per cent of people gambled at least once a month in 2016, up from 45 per cent the previous year.

Mike Finch, restructuring and insolvency partner at Moore Stephens, said: “With the Insolvency Service taking such a tough stance, it is crucial individuals do not underestimate the consequences of being declared bankrupt as a result of gambling, speculating or unnecessary spending.”

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