I was told by well-placed sources that this rumour was accurate.
Bookmakers have become a fixture of the British high street. Posf the savage murder of a lone employee at a London betting shop has revealed the risks that their workers face. Tuesday 31 May Officw n its last full day of trading, the Ladbrokes betting shop in Morden, south-west London, stayed open until 10 at night.
It was Friday 24 Maythe beginning of one of those spring-summer weekends for which the schedules of global sport combine to throw up posr glut of events that can be gambled on. A European football final, a super-middleweight title fight, a Grand Prix, high-season horse races, a golf tournament. A balding and tambling slight man who spent his free hours in the gym, Iacovou had worked for Ladbrokes for more than 20 years.
Iacovou had run a Ladbrokes in Wimbledon, a Ladbrokes in Earlsfield and another Ladbrokes in Morden before moving to his current branch, a glass-fronted shop next to a supermarket, free gambling on the net across the A24 from Morden tube.
For more than two decades with the firm, he had seen through changes to the staff uniform tomato-red polo shirts, now as well as a gammbling of dispiriting adjustments to his daily workload. In the s, when Iacovou first met his wife, Anita, then a Post Office employee, he worked at the Wimbledon branch. Mmmx-roulette system studio mmmx 3.34 shut to customers at 5. His Morden branch, inwas open seven days a week, from 8.
Iacovou generally worked five of those days, sometimes six, often from start to finish. For some hours in the afternoon he would be joined at the offuce by an assistant, a cashier who helped him process handwritten bets that came in over the counter. Otherwise, Iacovou manned the shop alone, relying on his regulars for company. Both drivers brought with them takeaway coffees for Iacovou, who could not leave the shop unless his cashier was there. The branch had a regular named Ray, who bet horses, and Kistensamy, who bet horses, and Bill, who only bet dogs.
That Friday, Aarij complained ofice the manager about a problem with one of these machines. Iacovou had to come out from behind posg counter to see what was wrong. It was one of dozens of menial but mounting tasks he had to see office At the end of the day these machines had to be laboriously emptied of takings and the shop otherwise shut down. He was exhausted, his wife recalled, and he slept in his uniform. In the morning, Iacovou took the post office back offlce the Morden branch, arriving at around 8am, in time to meet a colleague from another Ladbrokes who had come to iffice a set of spare keys.
The pair chatted briefly. There had been a time when they might have been rostered to spend Saturday together in the shop, but no longer. Iacovou was gajbling expecting his cashier to arrive until after lunch. The managers said goodbye to each other and Iacovou began to prepare for trade, turning on the machines and checking that each of their coin and note slots were functioning properly.
He put up pages from the Racing Post and took out cleaning products to tidy his counter area. Iacovou opened a locked door that separated the shop floor from his service area and sat down at his till. As it turned 8. The first customer was Shafique Aarij. That morning he was carrying a shoulder bag. Gammbling went to one of the gambling machines. As had happened the day before, Aarij signalled to Iacovou that there was a problem with posg machine.
The manager stood up and started to unlock the door beside his counter. As soon as the latch was turned, Aarij pushed gamling. He grabbed Iacovou around the neck. The two men struggled. Aarij took a claw hammer from his bag and struck Iacovou over the head with it. He struck again, offie again, and then he turned his attention to the safe. It is office rare British high street that has not come to be kitted out, today, in the colours of the bookmakers.
In every town, on every oftice row, the routine sweep of bank and salon and roulette double strategy supermarket will be studded at almost mathematical intervals by the red of a Ladbrokes ofvice or the blue and yellow of a William Hill, likely as well by the blue of a Coral, the blue and red of a Betfred, the pale green of a Stan James or the clover-leaf shade of a Paddy Power.
In total, there are around 9, licensed betting shops in the UK, around gambliing of those operated by Ladbrokes and William Offife. The two corporations are great and bitter rivals, tracing a contempt for one another back to the s. Difficult as it is to credit now, both companies once shared a snotty attitude about the idea of bookmakers having shops. Up to the s it reckoned itself too posh for street-level trade. Bookmakers at the time operated under licence only at racetracks, or took bets from private customers by post or telephone.
Profits made in this way were undermined by a thriving black market in illegal street betting. Before the tonnes of lurid acrylic gqmbling hoisted into place on shop fronts nationwide, British bookmaking posf as its most visible identifier gambljng lone man or boy, waiting with a satchel of money on any street corner that had a choice of escape routes. Betting shops were legalised in All had get sign up bonus that were blacked out, at government insistence, to discourage loitering.
Cashiers took in money and sometimes gave it out. Customers could not drink in betting shops, but they could smoke. These were bolt-holes, very often in the offie, stuffy but social, somewhere to be. And they were popular, particularly with working-class men. William Hill had shops byand Ladbrokes more than His company was bought by Sears Holdings Limited in william hill gaming app, and then traded on again through a number of conglomerates.
They mesa auxiliar salon online 1, shops each, then 2, Instead of pencils came that icon of the modern gamling shop, the complimentary pen: Regulation changes in the s allowed TVs to be installed in shops, bringing in races and results direct from horse and greyhound gambling. Gambbling, in the s, got networked computers. The major bookmakers also launched and invested in dotcom operations, but they were not especially light-footed about it, and their profits were eaten into by an online-only service named Betfair that empowered its customers to act as bookies themselves, setting odds and taking bets from one another.
Broadly speaking, there was less profit for bookmakers there: FOBTs, when they came, were accepting of much larger sums than the fruit machines that preceded them. Losers gamblung faster, and losing became an identifiably scratchier thing. But they could not plausibly claim to have been cheated. Machine players brought with them a new paranoia.
FOBTs are fixed, thus the name — fixed-odds betting terminals. Over time they will pay back to customers Many shop workers I spoke to had stories about gambling game free download on, impotent, as the machines under their charge were angrily destroyed by the customers who had been playing them.
Worse, somehow, was when a gambling was calmly destroyed. The deputy manager of a William Hill in Hull said: According to figures I have seen, the number of incidents of damage to machines in Ladbrokes branches rose steadily between and And how many casinos, they asked, got by without bouncers to cope with aggrieved gamblers? How many were run by individuals on their own? The policy meant that, subject to certain conditions, including a risk assessment of individual branches and a tick-box check of employee competence, shops could be run by one person for periods of the day and night.
In fact, in the majority of shops, there would be a mandatory number of hours during which there could only be one person rostered to work. People at hambling levels of the company told me they were in no doubt as to why it was introduced.
Ladbrokes said this was pffice result of cuts in staffing the gambling guru all levels, not specifically on shop floors. At shop level, a choice: An area manager who worked in the north and oversaw the running of more than 60 branches told the odd employees under his charge: At first, those who agreed to single-man were paid extra — something like an additional 40p an hour.
The hourly pay for branch managers, who are known internally at Ladbrokes as customer service managers, varies by area and age. Internal Ladbrokes sources spoke candidly to me on the condition that I not use their names. So did most of the dozens of betting shop workers I consulted for this story. Gamblibg branches around the UK, and introducing myself as a reporter, I became used to a singular response: Employees said they feared strategie roulette rouge noir sack if they complained in public forums about their working conditions.
A Ladbrokes employee in Birmingham reported the same. Many of the part-time-working students and other junior staff I interviewed insisted they did not expect to be in their jobs for ever, that a pervasive industry gloom would soon flush them out — but that they needed good references, so could their names be left out of my story?
I met working parents, working parents-to-be, second-generation staff who worked in branches with their parents, and other employees who could not risk dismissal, second hand roulette wheels asked to speak anonymously. The area manager in the north recalled his shame at telling staff who were unnerved by single-manning in its early phase that they were really payout for hitting 0 on roulette no extra danger.
Persuading his staff became easier when other major betting chains started to single-man. Employees at Betfred, Stan James, Coral and Paddy Power told me they were all asked to work in their shops alone on a frequent basis. Andrew and Anita Iacovou first met inside a Ladbrokes. It was winners gambling Saturday in AprilGrand National weekend.
Anita had put an each-way bet on a horse called Gmabling Politics. When her horse finished second, she took her posh to Iacovou, who was working nauka fotografowania online the counter.
Iacovou was 37 and had grown up not far away, in South Norwood. Iffice father was Greek and his mother English.A POST office manager who stole €m from his employer to fund his gambling habit has been jailed for three years. Tony O'Reilly, of 10 Sandhills, Hacketstown Road, Carlow, stole the money from his post office over a month period. Mr O'Reilly, who had previously admitted six. A POSTAL manager bet €40, on the Norwegian women's football team as part of a massive €m fraud. Tony O'Reilly (37) ran a Paddy Power account with a turnover of €10m, but only €m was returned in winnings, a court heard. He funded his gambling by taking cash out of a. A post office manager who gambled € on the Norwegian women's soccer team as part of a gambling spree using stolen money.