City police continue to deny their existence
K.J. George, former Home Minister, has written to the incumbent Minister Araga Jnanendra flagging two ‘casinos’ that have opened recently in his Sarvagnanagar constituency seeking immediate action against them.
Though there have been allegations of casinos in the city – residents of Indiranagar had raised the issue in the past – this is the first time a former Home Minister has officially complained about the same. However, the city police continue to deny their existence in the city. “There is no such activity in the city, as of today. If anything is found, most stringent action will be taken against such establishments,” said Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant. All forms of gambling, except those categorised as skill games, are banned by law.
A copy of the letter available with The Hindu provides specific locations of the two casinos — in HRBR Layout and on Kammanahalli Main Road. Mr. George said several families have become paupers because of the illegal gambling at these casinos, and sought their immediate closure. Sources in the city police said hours after the receipt of the former Minister’s letter on Thursday, the East Division Police raided the two premises and shut them down.
Casinos in Goa, Sri Lanka and South East Asia are famous and many from the city also frequent them, sources said. “There may be gambling dens in the city, where several kinds of card games are played for high stakes, along with Teen Patti and Andar-Bahar common in recreation centres in the city. But these are not casinos, which are more hi-tech with slot machines, roulettes and are on a large scale. There may be four or five such gambling places still operating. Many that came up last year were shut down,” conceded a senior official.
Sneha Nandihal, a resident of Indiranagar, who recently actively campaigned against a gambling den in the locality and got it shut down, said their presence was both a nuisance and a security risk. Mr. George’s letter to Mr. Jnanendra also says the illegal ‘casinos’ have not only led to several families becoming pauper but also to an increase in crimes in the area.
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