Gambling Addict Shot Dead After $9,000 Pokies Win

An Australian gambler who ran up a $16,500 debt with loan business City Cash, as a result of his addiction to poker machines, was shot dead following a $9,000 pokies win three days earlier.
An Adelaide court heard how in April 2007, George Siahamis (33) had recently moved back into his parent’s house after losing his courier job and parting with his wife. Despite having severe gambling problems, Siahamis had then managed to secure $16,500 worth of loans from City Cash at a monthly interest repayment rate of around 25%.
After running up his initial debt, one day Siahamis ended up winning $9,000 on the pokies and had then paid back $1,500 of his debt to the City Cash store. However, a few days later store workers Mr Pheap Chea and Andrew Fry drove round to visit George Siahamis at his parent’s home and attempted to intimidate and assault him into handing over more of the money.
As prosecutor Adam Kimber explained: “There was an argument and scuffle between the deceased and at least one of the men from that car, if not both. Things escalated, the loaded firearm that had been brought was produced from the car. Initially it was fired into the air on more than one occasion but then it was turned on the deceased at least three times and twice at very close range. Tragically the shots took place in front of his mother.”
Despite neighbours attempts to keep him alive using towels and a belt, George Siahamis lost too much blood and he died later in hospital. A few days later, Fry was found dead from a drug overdose while Cambodian born Chea was apprehended in his car with a hose pipe running from the exhaust in an apparent suicide bid.
The murder trial of Mr Pheap Chea is continuing, but in the meantime Mr Siahamis’ father, Louie said he believed his son’s death was directly related to his addiction to pokies, and said: “The young, the old and the hungry they don’t have the money to live, yet they spend money on pokies. They should ban the bastards.”

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