The Beginning of a Gambling Problem
Brian Molony was born in Toronto, Canada in the family of a doctor. One of nine kids in the family, at an early age of 12 he developed a passion for horse racing and gambling which inevitably, led him down the wrong path. Despite his peculiar extra-curricular activities as a child, namely bookkeeping for his fellow classmates, he wasn’t a drop out like you would expect. He was a smart boy, who went on to graduate from the University of Western Ontario with a degree in journalism.
Well-liked and sharp-minded, Molony was hired by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) and enrolled in a management training program, back in 1976. He worked different positions ranging from a teller, to working in savings, then current accounts, foreign exchange and loan accounting. From there on, due to the vast network of various bank branches, he travelled around a lot, learning all systems and internal procedures, how they operated and discovering any potential weaknesses.
From Assistant Manager to a Criminal
His general aptitude and wit led him to become an assistant manager at the downtown Toronto branch at the age of 26. This was quite an accomplishment for someone so young. Not only was it prestigious, but it also granted him access to almost any bank accounts. The position also entitled him to manage loans given out by the bank. And that’s where the story takes a turn for the worse. Using various real and fictitious company names, he started giving out loans to himself to feed his gambling addiction. In an interview he gave at a later period in life, he stated that he always intended to pay back the money he embezzled. It was never about stealing but rather about the thrill of gambling.
Unfortunately, the initial lucky streak he experienced didn’t last long. It wasn’t uncommon for him to place bets upwards of $70,000 a hand and win millions. He didn’t manage to retain the money, however. What he won, he gambled away as quickly as he had earned it. Taking expensive trips to Las Vegas and Atlantic City didn’t help his situation either. Even surrounded by his friends and family, his gambling addiction remained a secret. Continuous losses and the inability to repay the loans he already had led him to frantically give himself new and bigger loans. Sadly, he wasn’t able to manage the money in any reasonable way and it only worsened his gambling problem.
The End of an Era
The pivot point was one spring morning of 1982. The previous night he had just lost $1 million playing craps at the Caesar’s Casino in Atlantic City. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce had realised after many years of ignorance, what Maloney was doing, and had him arrested. The date was April 27, 1982, and it all went downhill from there. The Bank sued not only Molony but also Caesars Atlantic City as it believed that the staff and management were in on the entire scheme. After all, they never asked him for any personal or credit information yet showered him gifts and thousands of dollars’ worth of hotel stays and private aeroplane travel.
Molony pleaded guilty to the charges of embezzlement an in November 1983 was sentenced to two and a half years of prison. After serving his sentence, he was admitted for treatment of his gambling addiction and pledged to perform community service, including hosting problem gambling seminars and sharing his story with the world. Caesars Atlantic City was also hit by the lawsuit. Due to an agreement between it and the Division of Gaming Enforcement, the casino was forced to shut down for a day on November 30, 1983. Analysts at the time estimated that Caesars would stand to lose between $700,000 and $800,000 on that day.
Details surrounding the settlement between CIBC, Caesars and Maloney were never disclosed. Currently, Brian Molony is married and with children, working as a business consultant and atoning for his past mistakes. Presumably, he’s no longer suffering from a gambling addiction, some source even going so far as to state that they would trust him with their money, 100%.
Maloney in Pop Culture
In 1987, author Gary Stephen Ross, an admired Canadian writer and editor, published a book detailing the life of Brian Molony, titled “Stung: The Incredible Obsession of Brian Molony”. It quickly became a bestseller and after reading our article, we’re sure you understand why. Based on the book, 2003 was the year in which “Owning Mahowny” hit theatres. The main role was played by Philip Seymour Hoffman and his character Dan Mahowny was a depiction of Brian Molony. The movie is highly rated on IMDB with a score of 7.1 and we recommend you watch it. However, if you want an in-depth scoop on the story, the book is your go-to source.
To conclude the story of Brian Molony, gambling addiction can develop into a major problem if you’re not careful. If you know someone who’s struggling with his own demons, be a good friend and try to get them help. These days, there are plenty of organisations out there and support lines for people with gambling addiction. Gamblers Anonymous in the USA and GamCare in the UK are such examples. If you’re suffering from gambling addiction yourself, don’t be ashamed of seeking help. Sacrificing your pride would only help you and your loved ones in the long run. If you’re unsure whether you’re suffering from a gambling problem or are interested in reading more about people that did, check out our article on the worst cases of gambling addiction.