A director jailed for stealing more than one million dollars from his company to fund his gambling addiction was "targeted" for incentives after Crown Casino identified him as a potential high-end gambler, a judge has said.
Garry Leonard Matthews, 60, started betting on horses as a teen before moving on to pokie machines and becoming a regular at Crown Casino when it opened in the 1990s.
By 2010 he had a severe gambling addiction.
As the director of Victorian-based Carrington Carpet Services he was paid an annual salary of $186,000 but he began making withdrawals from the company's ANZ bank account to finance his betting habit.
Between June 2010 and August 2012 he withdrew $1.08 million from the company account for his own personal use.
In jailing Matthews on Thursday, Victorian County Court Judge Irene Lawson said all the money was "frittered away at the casino".
Matthews' gambling addiction explained his crime, but did not excuse it, she said.
"At all times you knew what you were doing was wrong," Judge Lawson said.
"You breached your responsibilities as a company director."
Matthews was jailed for three years to be released after 12 months on a good behaviour bond.
Matthews had faced up to five years in prison for the overall charge of using his position as a director dishonestly.
He was given a discount due to an early guilty plea and because he'd entered counselling to overcome his gambling problem.
At the time of his offending, the casino was the centre of Matthews' social life and activity, Judge Lawson said.
He was made a VIP and was "targeted by the casino", she added.
"You were provided with multiple incentives to continue your gambling.
"You were obviously targeted by the casino who considered you to be a potential high-end gambler."
Matthews is now financially destitute and the business is no longer viable.
Carrington Carpet Services went into liquidation as a result of Matthews' theft.
"Due to the number of cash withdrawals made by you, your company became insolvent," Judge Lawson said.