Canadian Priest Gambles Away $386,000 in Donations Earmarked for Iraqi Refugees

Canadian priest gambles

Posted on April 22nd, 2016 at 12:04pm

One of the more shocking stories regarding gambling excess recently hit the headlines last month when it was revealed that a priest from Ontario carelessly used funds earmarked for war refugees on his own gambling activities.

Although it isn’t exactly clear which casino games were used by Father Amer Saka of the St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church to lose more than CDN $500,000, it’s yet another example of a gambler losing control of their habit that should serve as a cautionary tale for all.

What makes the story all the more heart-rending is the fact that the money had been collected through charitable donations from the parishoners in the area who thought that the funds would be used to aid Iraqi refugees escape their war-torn homeland and find a new life in the Canadian province.

Of course, it’s not just religious figures who have lost control of their gambling habits, as there are numerous examples from the world of politics, sport and entertainment where individuals have seen their spending spiral out of control.

Sports stars in particular seem to show a carelessness in their gambling exploits with legendary basketball players like Charles Barkley losing more than $10 million on foolish mistakes, whereas golf pro Tiger Woods has also reportedly suffered major losses at the blackjack tables. And when even Senator John McCain gets caught playing poker on his iPhone, it’s clear that it’s not just us mere mortals who have to be careful about our playing habits.

Hollywood is certainly no stranger to gambling excess with the likes of the Good Will Hunting stars Matt Damon and Ben Affleck joining Tobey Maguire in an illicit multi-million dollar gambling ring that eventually resulted in Affleck checking himself into rehab for addiction in 2001. And infamous Hollywood bad boy, Charlie Sheen, added further scandal to his controversial career when it was revealed that he suffered from gambling addiction - even placing a bet whilst his then-wife, Denise Richards, was in labor.

But it’s not just the guys who’ve revealed that they can have gambling issues as the Baywatch star, Pamela Anderson, reportedly lost $250,000 on poker in a single night on the Las Vegas strip in 2007. And although there are rumours that she managed to win back the losses with a single kiss, such an option probably isn’t quite so possible for the rest of us, which is why this online gambling advice for Canadians is important as a reminder for ensuring your financial safety.

And if you’re looking for a truly heart-rending example of how an individual’s problems with gambling can lead to their downfall, then just take a read of soul singer Gladys Knight’s autobiography, Between Each Line of Pain and Glory.

This harrowing read documents how the multiple Grammy Award-winner lost control of her life to gambling through events like losing $40,000 in one night on baccarat, and even ended up having to join Gambler’s Anonymous.

With the rise of online casinos, there are now many more opportunities to play. But with the greater choice comes the greater need for individuals to make sure that they play responsibly, and that’s why having a read over some of these tips on how to handle online casinos best can ensure that you get the most out of your casino entertainment.

Particularly as we all know that there’s the chance to play in a way that’s safe and win big at the same time. With legendary tales like the one where Archie Karas managed to turn $50 into $40 million in one night on the gaming tables in Las Vegas, it just goes to show that with the right playing style, a lot of responsibility and a bit of luck, then anything can happen!


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