Ex-Gambling Addict Handed Suspended Sentence for Multiple Offences as NZ Study Unveils Possible Link Between Drug Addiction and Problem Gambling

The Hull Crown Court has handed Hawbash Ahmed The Hull Crown Court has handed Hawbash Ahmed, a former problem gambler whose financial struggles led to him resorting to drug dealing, a suspended sentence of 15 months. An additional 20 days have been designated for rehabilitation. The news comes not long after researchers from New Zealand identified a correlation between substance abuse and gambling addiction.

According to details published by the Hull Daily Mail newspaper, Mr Ahmed’s run-ins with the law go as far back as 2017, but the offences he was prosecuted for recently were committed in 2020. Namely, as a result of a number of probes, Mr Ahmed was caught in possession of cannabis with intent to supply. On one occasion, when confronted by police, the defendant also attacked two officers.

The case involved two acquaintances of Mr Ahmed’s but, as only his fingerprints were found, he was the only one to face legal consequences. After an initial refusal to admit to his wrongdoings, Mr Ahmed eventually pleaded guilty.

Mr Ahmed’s lawyer, Cathy Kioko-Gilligan, told the Court that he has recovered from his gambling addiction, and she deemed him to be at a “low risk of reoffending.” She further emphasised that he was aware of his mistakes. In light of the said mitigating factors, Mr Ahmed avoided prison time, but Judge Richard Woolfall stressed that this served as the defendant’s one and only chance.

Researchers Have Observes a Statistical Association Between Cannabis and Drugs

Hawbash Ahmed Mr Ahmed’s case might be a part of a bigger picture, seeing as studies across the globe have linked gambling addiction and crime. As reported by the New Zealand Herald, a report published by Brian Easton in 2009 found that, on an annual basis, an estimated 10,000 individuals in New Zealand commit crimes as a result of problem gambling.

The New Zealand Herald also pointed to a recent study by a research team led by Maria Bellringer, an associate professor at the Auckland University of Technology, which focused on how lifestyle changes have influenced the behaviour of gamblers or individuals who might be prone to start gambling. The data revealed that the continued use of tobacco and cannabis meant that a given person’s chances of beginning to gamble recklessly were higher, according to the statistics.

If similar results were to be observed abroad and in the UK in particular, then it is possible that in attempting to use the supply of cannabis as a means of making money, Mr Ahmed might have also put others at risk of not just substance abuse but problem gambling as well.

On the other hand, it has also been found that the quitting of smoking in particular also has a statistical association with gambling. In addition, Ms Bellringer’s results showed it is possible that difficult living conditions or major life events (especially ones such as natural disasters) can lead to increased risk of gambling harm, and a similar correlation was observed when it came to individuals who had quit organised groups such as sports clubs. No explicit cause and effect could be confirmed, however, suggesting the need for further research.

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Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.
Daniel Williams
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