frame from the movie Owing Mahony

Having met Brian Molony in his best years, you would never have believed that this handsome, intelligent, and pleasant in all respects man devours a destructive passion for gambling. It drove him to the point where he stole over ten million dollars, which he spent in casinos and other gambling clubs.

This article tells about the life of one of the most famous gamblers in the world.

The Birth of Passion

Brian was born into a doctor's family. His mother was a housewife raising four children. His father introduced him to gambling. From an early age, he took his son to the races and taught him various tricks that allowed more effective betting on the racetrack.

Back in high school, Molony himself arranged sweepstakes for classmates and friends. He took bets from them on local sporting events.

After school, Brian attended the University of Western Ontario, earning a bachelor's degree in journalism. He planned to write articles on financial topics, but he brilliantly passed the Canadian Imperial Commercial Bank interview and quickly got a promising position.

By the time he was twenty-six, he was an assistant manager of a bank branch, which was considered an incredible success for such a young man.

Molony's personal life was in order, too. He was in a long-term relationship with a charming girl. The couple lived in a rented apartment in a prestigious area.

It would seem that the guy is waiting for a bright future. Acquaintances did not doubt that he would rapidly climb the career ladder, start a family, and not face financial difficulties.

Brian's compulsion to gamble ended such expectations. He never stopped playing, betting in bookmakers, and visiting casinos. The promotion allowed him to reach a new level.

Going Down

A responsible position opened for Molony, giving him access to accounts of almost all of the bank's clients, including individuals and legal entities. He also received the right to issue loans. This allowed him to write fake loans to accomplices and steal money from wealthy depositors unnoticed. Then, he had only to wash them through a California company.

He used the stolen money to play at very high rates in Las Vegas casinos. Eyewitnesses said he could bet tens of thousands of dollars on one hand in poker. Once, Brian won half a million dollars, making a bet on his favorite team's victory in the Superbowl.

Brian Moloney

Colossal sums did not linger in his hands. He spent them very quickly. According to Molony, he originally intended to return the money as soon as he could win. Good intentions were not realized.

He later recalled:

I haven't spent a penny on myself or my lifestyle.

Soon, fortune finally gave up on Brian. He once bet five thousand dollars on forty football teams. None of the bets won, and he lost two hundred thousand for the evening. It had been less than a month since Molony had dropped one million dollars on the craps tables at Caesar's casino in Atlantic City.

In Jail

In early 1982, the bank where Brian worked and stole conducted an internal investigation revealing Moloney's fraudulent transactions. On the twenty-seventh of April, he was arrested.

The trial of the swindler took place in November 1983. Brian cooperated with the investigation and pleaded guilty, which allowed him to avoid a lengthy prison sentence. He got off with six years in jail with the possibility of parole and agreed to participate in the program for gambling addicts. It included mandatory treatment and community service.

After serving two and a half years in prison, Molony was released and got a job as a financial adviser. He slowly returns the bank's previously stolen money.

Brian's girlfriend forgave her lover. They married and had three children. The family lives in Ontario.

The Lawsuit against Caesar's Casino

Since Brian was officially recognized as a gambler, getting the stolen funds from him was problematic. It would have taken a long time anyway. Canadian Imperial Bank sued Caesar's casino, hoping to knock him more than four and a half million dollars lost by Molony.

Gambling operators were accused of violating the rules of the gambling business. The casino was supposed to find out how their client got the money. In addition, the administration, aware of Brian's addiction, continued to encourage his thirst for the game by offering him all sorts of perks: free hotel rooms, menus, drinks, and even plane tickets.

Brian Molony

Caesar's management realized it would not be possible to get out and signed a settlement agreement with the bank. Its details were not made public. It is only known that this financial institution has pledged never to renew the lawsuit against the casino.

State authorities punished Caesar's by closing it for one Saturday night. The famous gambling house's losses ranged from seven to eight hundred thousand dollars. Several employees were fined a total of thirty-six thousand dollars.


Gary Stephan Ross wrote a book about Molony, "Stung," which describes Brian's misadventures in detail. The former swindler helped the author to work on the work. The novel was awarded 4.4 points out of five on Amazon.

It formed the basis of the script of the feature film Owning Mahowny, in which Philip Seymour Hoffman played the leading part.

the film is about Moloney

Director Richard Kwietniowski said:

Molony wasn't interested in money or what it could buy. He was interested in accumulating unlimited amounts of money so that he could continue to gamble. That was his livelihood. The more money he made, the more he could lose.

Kvetnansky also said that Moloney was involved in the film

I met him personally, just once, before we started shooting. I wanted his blessing, and it did, but I also wanted to make sure some of the details of the banking transactions were accurate.

The film was released in 2003 and received positive reviews from critics.


Brian claims that he was able to curb his addiction but is not going to relax:

I will always be an addicted player. I understand it now... it's a progressive, evolving disease. You can't heal from it. It can only be held under arrest. I am sure that society is more sympathetic to alcoholics. Gambling addicts are considered wasters of money. But it's more complicated than that. It [the disease] is insidious, exciting, and destructive.

He now helps problem gamblers fight deadly passions.

Do you believe Molony quit? Is it possible to beat addiction to the game? Discuss in the comments. Share personal stories if you have what to tell on the topic.

How to Avoid Addictive Gambling

Finally, here are a couple of tips on how not to become addicted:

  • Play for fun and quit as soon as the process begins to bore you.
  • Do not go beyond your financial capabilities.
  • Before going to the casino, determine your limits and never exceed them.
  • Do not borrow money from gambling clubs or other customers.
  • Remember that the desire to recoup at any cost can finally pull you into a trap.
  • At the first sign of addiction, take a long pause in the game.
  • Seek the help of specialists.

Read feature articles about addiction on Casinoz.

Frequently asked Questions

🤵 Who is Brian Molony, and why is he significant in gambling history?

Brian Molony gained notoriety for his involvement in one of the largest gambling-related thefts, where he stole over ten million dollars from the bank he worked for and used it to fuel his gambling addiction.

🤑 What led Brian Molony to his destructive gambling behavior?

Brian Molony's gambling addiction began at a young age, influenced by his father's introduction to gambling activities like horse racing. Despite having a successful career and personal life, Molony's compulsion to gamble led him to steal from his employer to fund his habit.

🚔 How did Brian Molony's gambling addiction affect his life?

Molony's addiction led to his downfall, resulting in his arrest and conviction for fraud in 1982. He served time in prison and faced legal consequences, including lawsuits from the bank he defrauded. Despite this, Molony managed to rebuild his life, seeking treatment for his addiction and eventually returning the stolen money to the bank.

🎬 What is the movie "Owning Mahowny" about, and how does it relate to Brian Molony's story?

"Owning Mahowny" is a film based on Brian Molony's life, depicting his descent into gambling addiction and the massive theft he committed to fuel his habit. The movie explores the psychological aspects of addiction and the consequences it has on Molony's personal and professional life.

📽 How accurate is the portrayal of Brian Molony in the movie "Owning Mahowny"?

While the movie is based on Brian Molony's life, some aspects may be fictionalized for dramatic purposes. However, the film generally stays true to the main events and themes of Molony's story, depicting his struggles with addiction and the impact it had on those around him.

⚒ What has Brian Molony been doing since his release from prison?

After serving his sentence, Brian Molony has worked to overcome his gambling addiction and has become an advocate for problem gamblers. He has shared his story to raise awareness about the dangers of gambling addiction and continues to help others struggling with similar issues.

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