Owning Mahowny is a Canadian film about the effects of gambling addiction. It was directed by Richard Kwietniowski and released in 2003. The cast includes Minnie Driver, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Hurt and Maury Chaykin.
It is based on a true story about a Bank Employee who embezzled more than $10 million from a Toronto Bank to feed his gambling addiction.
The Main Story
In the early 80s, Dan Mohowny (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a trusted employee at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Over time he is promoted to Branch Manager, which means he has access to large sums of money.
His Boss trusts him and has no idea that Mahowny is a compulsive gambler. However, Mahowny was gambling every week at Atlantic City casinos with the bank’s money. The casino management considered him to be a High Roller and wined and dined him.
Like all gambling addiction, the amounts started getting bigger and bigger to recoup his losses. However, the bank did not find out about the theft until the Toronto police began to investigate Mahowny’s bookie Frank (Maury Chaykin).
Mahowney was subsequently arrested and prosecuted in Canada by the Crown Attorney. He received a six-year prison sentence. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce also sued the Atlantic City casinos to recover the funds Mahowney spent. There was an out of court settlement for an undisclosed sum.
Dan Mahowney served his full six years prison sentence and has not gambled since his release. He is now married with three children and works as a Financial Consultant.
The difference between this movie and other gambling-related movies is that Owning Mahoney concentrated on the gambling addiction and not on the glitz and glamour of the casino life.
However, it turned out to be a box office flop as the movie only made $1 million but cost $10 million to produce.