Daryn Cresswell's sporting shame

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Reporter: Ross Coulthart
Producer: Paul Waterhouse
Date: 16 October, 2011

Go to transcript

Former Sydney Swans’ player of the century, Daryn Cresswell has spoken out for the first time about problem gambling in sport just two weeks after his release from Queensland Jail for fraud.

Cresswell served ten months for defrauding a bank to fuel a gambling addiction, which began in 2002. Eight years later he lost everything including millions of dollars, his home, career, wife and children.

Speaking to Sunday Night’s Ross Coulthart, Cresswell said gambling is a “huge problem”, and admitted to betting on his own games at least “once”. Asked if he made money out of it, Cresswell said, “yep.”

“I just don’t think it should be allowed. I’ve known of players doing it…I have,” he said.

A typical day for Cresswell involved buying the paper and placing bets “anywhere from a thousand dollars to twenty thousand dollars on a horse”. Eventually, he kept betting in the hope he’d win enough to bail himself out.

“Everything I had I was trying to win back to pay people that I owed, to try pay. The rent try pay, the cars, try pay for the kids education and in the end Ross I, two attempts to try end it all.

“I couldn’t stop, I didn’t know what I was doing. I was thirty years of age. I started gambling at thirty years of age, I had no prior knowledge or prior in horse racing I didn’t understand what I was doing but I was just doing it and I was just completely out of control. I couldn’t stop.

For Daryn Cresswell, it’s a fresh start with his new partner, Jo, who has control of the household's finances.

“Jail’s been good for me it’s given me a lot of time to reflect and a lot of time to take ownership of the carnage I’ve made,” he said.

Further information for problem gamblers

Problem gambling help ACT

Gambling Help Online WA

Gambling Support Services Tasmania

Gambling Help Queensland

Gambling Help NSW

Problem Gambling SA

Problem gambling Victoria

Images courtesy of: Getty, Newspix and APN

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