Man Who Set Fire to Self in Front of Young Son Had £250,000 Gambling Debt: UK Cracks Down Further

Written by:
Nagesh Rath
Published on:

Bill Troshupa killed himself in front of his son, 16, over £250k gambling debts and now his widow is begging for a clampdown of betting sites.

Julie Martin Waltham Abbey, Essex, welcomed some of the Government’s latest regulation proposals announced on Thursday, but she wants no more gambling advertisements and better checks to prevent young and vulnerable persons from accessing betting websites.

Mrs Martin took aim at MPs and said she was ‘exceptionally disappointed’ by ‘how empty’ the Commons benches were for Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer’s statement on the White Paper.

She told the Mail: ‘We’ve waited two years for this White Paper, and it just goes to prove how our MPs really do not see gambling as a serious issue.’

She added: "I don’t think they will be held up and used accordingly. If they are still going to allow people to gamble away £1,000 a day, then I really don’t believe that in a £14billion industry, they are going to take the changes seriously."


The latest plans call for a mandatory levy on betting firms to pay for treatment of addiction, new player protection checks and stake limits for online slots.  Anyone who loses more than £500 in a year will undergo routine "affordability" checks while more extensive checks will be required for individuals who lose greater than £1,000 in a day or £2,000 over three months.

The Gambling Commission also says it will get tougher in the wake of recent high-profile fines against gambling operators for failing to protect people at risk.

The agency has stated that problem gambling affects an estimated 300,000 people and can lead to people losing life-changing sums of money.

There is no telling whether the new restrictions would have saved Bill Troshupa.

It was in November of 2021 that Mr. Troshupa arrived home from his job as a driver wielding a knife while carrying a can of fuel.

He started banging on the door demanding to be let in by his son before posting an envelope of cash through the letterbox, stepping back and setting himself on fire as his son watched in horror.

The distressed son called his mother as she drove back from work at around 8.30pm and said ‘his father was on fire’ outside.

Mrs Martin rushed home to find Mr Troshupa ‘on fire, screaming while falling to the floor’. A neighbour ran out with a hosepipe before dowsing him with a blanket but his burns were too severe. 

Emergency services battled for 90 minutes at the scene before he was flown by helicopter to hospital, but he could not be saved.

Betting companies are already required to prevent harm, but repeated fines demonstrate that these firms do not take the Commission policy seriously.

- Nagesh Rath,

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