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Police action against illegal gambling continues with recent reports of arrest coming in from Kolhapur. On November 12, city police conducted a raid on a video game parlour, resulting in the arrest of 27 people, along with the seizure of 29 machines.
“We had received information from our sources that illegal activities like gambling are being carried out at videogame parlours. We also got information that these parlours have installed extra machines than the number they had taken license for. Following the information, we conducted a raid at a video parlour located in Central Bus Stand area and arrested 27 people. We have also seized 29 machines and cash ₹60,000 from them,” a police officer involved in conducting the raid said to The Times of India.
The raid on Monday by the city police was carried out to send a stern message to those involving themselves in illegal activities.
Assisted by a team from the Shahupuri police station, city Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Prashant Amrutkar‘s team carried out the raid. “We are verifying the documents of the parlour and checking if the owner has valid license to run the parlour. Running videogame parlour with valid license is not illegal but indulging in gambling activities is illegal. Customers visit these parlours to play videogames, but are frequently indulged in gambling activities,” stated Amrutkar.
He further added that the police will push forward in their drive to rid the city of unlawful activities that take place in the dark of the night. “We will continue to drive and raid some other parlours and amusement centres that are being run in the city to keep a check on illegal activities. People can come forward and pass on information about such centres if they come across any illegal activity in their vicinity,” he concluded.
Due to the continued legal ambiguity surrounding various aspects of gaming and gambling, police raids have become quite common.
Less than a week ago, on November 6, Mumbai police had raided the Sea Princess Hotel in Juhu and detained close to 135 people found gambling and playing poker at the venue. All those who were arrested were booked under the relevant sections of the Bombay Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887. Police also seized ₹3.5 Lakhs in cash and poker chips worth ₹25 Lakhs from the spot. Indian Express had reported that the Diwali party was hosted by Indian Poker Face (IPF) on the first two floors of the hotel.
At the time the Mumbai police had stated, “The organisers had been co-ordinating with players on a WhatsApp group but did not reveal the location and time of the party until the last minute. They did not send out a message but called up the players to inform them.”