Fraudster ran up CND$ 10 million debt

Christine Papakyriakou (52), a Hamilton, Ontario woman who currently awaits criminal sentencing for embezzling Cdn 7 million from her former employer to pay gambling debts that may be as high as Cdn$ 10 million, is to sue two land casinos and the province for her troubles.

Papakyriakou's civil lawsuit, which contains allegations not proven in court, alleges that Casino Niagara, Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation are responsible for turning her into a pathological gambler, reports the Toronto Sun. Those named intend to defend the action.

In her claim, Papakyriakou suggests the defendants conspired to injure her economically by providing her with complimentary theatre tickets, first-class hotel rooms, unlimited dining and free limo service, all designed to encourage her to continue to gamble.

"It (the defendant) introduced her to celebrities attending or performing at the casinos; It encouraged and allowed her to gamble at the casinos for continuous and extended periods of time, up to 72 hours, on numerous occasions," according to the claim.

OLG spokesman Allison Sparkes said the case has no merit: "The plaintiff acknowledges she did not seek help from the OLG," she said.

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