Willie Thorne’s Gambling Addiction Has Led to Bankruptcy

There are many different types of addiction, and all have an adverse impact on the person affected as well as those closest to him or her. While most people think of alcohol and drugs when they hear the term “addiction”, one of the most destructive forms of addiction is gambling addiction. This illness can result in devastation and chaos, and it leaves many affected individuals facing hardship and financial ruin.

Former snooker player Willie Thorne knows more than most of the devastation that a gambling addiction can cause. He has been struggling with addiction for a number of years and in that time has borrowed almost one million pounds to fund his habit.


He has now been declared bankrupt and been given a six-year restriction. After borrowing money over a two-year period, he filed for bankruptcy earlier this year with debts totalling £601,000. It was said that he borrowed the money even though he had no reasonable way to repay it.

Thorne has suffered from a gambling addiction for the past twenty-five years, and at one stage it saw him come close to ending his life. He estimates that he has borrowed around £1 million in the previous two years from friends, and all was used to fund his addiction. However, he told those he was borrowing from that the money was required for cash-flow problems and that he would be able to repay it within a couple of months.

As with most gambling addicts, Thorne was most likely under the impression that he would be able to win back the money through gambling and then repay his friends. Sadly, that never happened, and nobody was repaid. And the fact that he has no assets means that it is unlikely they will ever get their money back.

A condition of the bankruptcy order is that Thorne must tell any creditor about the bankruptcy if he is to borrow over £500, and he is unable to become a company director from now until 2022.

Consequences of a Gambling Addiction

A gambling addiction is often referred to as a secret addiction because most outsiders are unaware that a person has a problem until his or her financial situation becomes apparent. Even those closest to the addict may not realise that their loved one is suffering this addiction as there are no outward physical signs.

Nevertheless, a gambling addiction can cause immense heartache to those closest to the affected person. Individuals suffering from this illness have no control over their urge to gamble. Even when they know that to do so will cause negative consequences, they will continue to gamble, and often until there is no money left to gamble with.

Since gambling addiction requires constant access to cash, it is not uncommon for addicts to have debts. Some gambling addicts will end up losing everything they have because they cannot stop gambling. They will continue to borrow from friends and family members as well as banks and other financial institutions.

After a while, they will have exhausted all their sources of funding, and when they are unable to pay back the money they have borrowed, the real problems will start. Many gambling addicts will become desperate when creditors constantly hound them but will still be convinced that their problems will be solved if they can just get that “big win”. They fail to see that the gambling is the cause of their problems.

Financial ruin is common among gambling addicts, with many family members only discovering the extent of the issue when it is too late. Sadly, many families are torn apart by one member’s gambling addiction. It is a destructive illness that can be treated, but most people do not reach out for help until they are in serious financial trouble.


  1. Willie Thorne declared bankrupt after borrowing millions to fund gambling addiction (Express)