Gamblers too Absorbed to Notice a Crime Going on in the Shop


Posted: January 15, 2014

Updated: October 4, 2017

Betting shop manager killed by a homeless person addicted to gambling.

British gambling news are spreading a tragic story that sure seems to prove the point anti-gambling campaigners were trying to make when they claimed betting terminals were addictive. Betting shop manager Andrew Iacovou died at his workplace, after gamblers failed to notice he was lying on the floor, injured.

Iacovou was beaten with a claw hammer by a homeless gambler. The customers of the betting shop were too absorbed by their games and it took them an hour and a half to notice the man. By then, it was too late to call for help.

The victim was killed by 21 year-old Shafique Ahmad Aarij, who launched a violent attack on the man after he refused to give him money. As he fell down to the floor, Iacovou managed to hit the panic button to alert Ladbrokes headquarters, but employees did not notice anything suspicious on the cameras. The police caught and arrested Aarij and the man was sentenced to life.

A family’s tragedy

Anita Iacovou, the man’s disabled widow, believes that her husband should have not been left alone in the betting shop. Now the woman fears for the future of her family, as she and her three children are left without support.

“If there were two people I don’t think it would have happened. There would have been someone to save him,” she told reporters. Still, it is tragic that none of the customers noticed the crime that was going on right in front of them.

With the recent scandals surrounding fixed-odds betting terminals, the tragic story just adds fuel to the fire. Lawmakers have been debating changes to British gambling laws, in order to limit the number of betting machines, but no measures have yet been taken.

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