NZ Politician Goes to Court to Fight Gambling Accusations

It has been over a month since MP Brendan Horan was accused to stealing money from his late mother’s estate to fund his gambling habit, and he is still fighting to clear his name. Although he has been forced out of NZ First, he has refused to resign from Parliament – and he hopes that he can obtain the information to clear his name and resume his career.

In early December, Horan’s family members stated that he had stolen thousands of dollars from his dying mother in order to spend money on gambling. Phone records showed that he called TabCorp hundreds of times over the course of a few months, but the politician has maintained his innocence.

To fight the claims, Horan has enlisted in the help of the court system. He plans to take legal action against the individual who is in charge of his late mother’s estate, claiming that this person is withholding the information necessary to clear his name. Horan states that his mother spent most of the money herself and that he had done nothing wrong.

Should he obtain the necessary information, Horan could prove his innocence not only to the general public but also to his political peers. However, NZ First may be reluctant to allow him to re-join, as leader Winston Peters has already dismissed Horan for shaming the party.

NZ Politician Accused of Gambling-Related Theft

MP Brendan Horan, formerly of the NZ First Party, has been accused of stealing money from his late mother in order to fund his problem gambling habit. The accusations have cost him his place in the political party and his reputation in New Zealand’s political world.

The crime was reported last week by Mana Ormsby, brother of Brendan Horan. He claims that their mother accused him of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from her bank account in order to gamble, and that she wanted the money returned to her estate. Horan has denied the claims, but this has not prevented his name from being tarnished.

Winston Peters, head of the NZ First Party, expelled Horan shortly after hearing the news. Although Horan has pleaded his innocence, Peters stated that he has sufficient evidence to prove that he has scandalized NZ First.

Phone records show that Horan made 144 calls to TAB over the course of a ten month period while a number of ‘questionable’ cheques have been presented as evidence. Still, Horan maintains that he is innocent, and he has gained the support of the Maori Party. Prime Minister John Key has also stated that there is not enough evidence to prove Horan’s guilt at the moment. An official investigation is on-going.

Study Shows that Gambling May Not Be An Addiction

When you think of problem gambling, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘addiction’; however, a new study by researchers at the University of Sydney suggests otherwise. Instead of calling it an ‘addiction’, they believe that it is more of a ‘misguided obsession’.

Dr. Fadi Anjoul of the University’s Gambling Treatment Clinic notes that common symptoms of addiction are not associated with problem gambling. Withdrawal and tolerance are issues that affect alcoholics and drug addicts; however, problem gamblers do not experience these features. As such, Dr. Anjoul has reason to believe that problem gambling does not fall into exactly the same category.

“We are dealing with habitual and poorly informed choices rather than biological processes that are beyond individual control,” says Dr. Anjoul.

While the distinction may not seem significant at first, it could have an important impact on the treatment of problem gambling. While counselling and even medication have been used to treat patients who are ‘addicted’ to gambling, this research may reveal that these are not the most effective options.

As such, Dr. Anjoul has devised a unique cognitive therapy approach, which differs from the type of counselling used to treat other types of addicts. He states that it has seen a great deal of success, as patients see lower relapse rates.