34-year-old university worker who hanged herself after losing her entire salary was turned down by her bank
A university worker who hanged herself after betting her entire salary in online casinos has been rejected by her bank and betting companies, her grieving parents said yesterday.
Natasha White, 34, became addicted to games such as online roulette through apps she could play at home – although she had no interest in going to casinos or betting on sports.
She would sometimes spend over £ 1,000 of her £ 1,900 per month salary in just over 24 hours, placing a series of £ 30-40 bets.
Over a 12-month period, the HR Systems Advisor wasted £ 20,000 on her addiction, more than she earned in a year.
She took out payday loans and dated Gamblers Anonymous, but struggled to cope and was found hanged in her home in August 2018 after a friend sounded the alarm.
Natasha White, 34, HR systems consultant at Manchester Metropolitan University, spent £ 1,000 of her £ 1,900 monthly salary on online gaming applications
Her devastated father then got her statements from Barclays Bank – and was horrified to see her spend.
Three companies she lost money with have been sanctioned by the Gambling Commission for failing to protect problem gamblers or for misleading advertising in the past three years, the Daily Mail can reveal.
Among them is the Maltese company Casumo, which has been fined nearly £ 6million for failing to comply with ‘social responsibility’ rules.
Now Miss White’s parents David and Jan are demanding tough action against the betting industry. And they want banks to do more to protect people who are sucked into overspending at online casinos.
It comes as the Daily Mail’s Stop the Gambling Predators campaign highlights the negative consequences of online gambling on the country’s mental health. Mr and Mrs White, from Telford, Shropshire, said that as a teenager Natasha occasionally played slots and that they had visited a casino on holiday before.
But her mother said, “If it weren’t for these websites, I don’t think she would have been drawn to the game.” Miss White was out of work between June and November 2018 before finding a job at Manchester Metropolitan University. She was making £ 1,900 a month, but by the time of her death she was betting almost £ 300.
The Manchester Metropolitan University, where Ms White worked, is pictured above
In January 2018, Miss White spent £ 340 in just two days on sites operated by another Malta-based company, MT SecureTrade. Last year, the Gambling Commission ordered him to pay almost £ 600,000 for projects promoting responsible gambling after license violations.
Another is Broadway Gaming Ireland with which she gambled over £ 2,000 in a week shortly before her death. In 2017, the Gambling Commission asked him to pay £ 100,000 for his ‘misleading’ promotions.
“The online game is too easy,” said Miss White’s mother. “A few simple clicks of a button and you’ve lost all your paycheck. “Banks are certainly able to monitor what customers are doing,” White added.
An investigation in Manchester learned that Miss had suffered from depression. Recording a finding of suicide, Coroner Zak Golombeck said: “Natasha’s story of gambling addiction and notes found at the scene and evidence of her pre-death state of mind show that she was committed suicide and intended to do so. ”
The coroner did not criticize the companies or his bank and there is no suggestion that they are in any way to blame.
A spokesperson for MT SecureTrade Ltd said: “We were very sorry to learn of the tragic death of Natasha White and extend our condolences to her family. We have dealt with the client in accordance with our regulatory obligations. ‘ Broadway Gaming Ireland declined to comment and Casumo did not respond to a request for comment.
A spokesperson for Barclays said Miss White’s death was a “very sad case”, adding: “We encourage customers who may have money concerns, now or in the future, to contact us.”
The Betting and Gaming Council, representing the bookmakers, insisted that its members are “determined to raise the standards”.
The Samaritans have a toll-free helpline for those who need help on 116123. More information is available at www.samaritans.org.