By Clyde Mooney

A long-term employee and manager for Victorian pub chain, Koroneos Group embezzled nearly $8 million to fund her online poker machine addiction.

Mother of two Wendy Jobson yesterday pleaded guilty to 1410 counts of theft for systematically transferring money from the hotel's accounts over five years.

Jobson lost the money on a gambling website, in particular a poker machine game called Doctor Love.

Managing director of the Koroneos Group, Mitchell Koroneos, was alerted to transactions between the company’s and Jobson's account, with further investigation revealing the administration manager had siphoned around $7.8 million.

Koroneos believed Jobson to be a reliable employee and had 'treated her like family'.

Jobson claimed she would 'lose herself' on gambling site 21Nova, which reportedly doubled her credits because she was such a valued customer.

"One time I won $1 million," she said. "But they only paid you $20,000 every four days … so you would keep gambling, because why not? It's there. And I'd lose it."

The irony of an employee of a hotel containing poker machines losing a fortune playing them online would seem to question the merit of extreme reform in licensed premises.

CEO of the Gaming Technologies Association, Ross Ferrar, told TheShout that the case starkly shows is that money is flowing out of Australia to online gaming operators.

"Australia was becoming a world leader in carefully regulated Internet casino gaming with innovative player empowerment features until the Federal Government made it illegal over 10 years ago.

"Now we have the situation where millions of dollars are going overseas every day with no benefits for the Australian economy and no jobs for Australians."

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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