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Police in India Arrests 18 People for Gambling in Five-Star Hotel
- September 2, 2014 By Nemanja L. -
A total of 18 people have been arrested in India as the police were tipped off about a gambling party in two suites inside a five-star hotel in New Delhi.
The Parliament Street police station staff raided two neighbouring suites in La Meridien hotel at 10.30pm to comprehend no less than 18 persons involved in the act of illegal gambling, performing their first ever bust of this kind in a five-star hotel.
Dairy owner Sudarshan and property dealer Rajesh Kumar had booked suites 620 and 622 on Sunday afternoon before the remaining persons joined them in the evening. While half of them were playing cards in one suite, the others were in charge of keeping an eye on the money in the other suite.
And while the gamblers admitted they had chosen the Le Meridien hotel as they believed it was a safe venue, this did not prove to be the case as the police acted on a credible information to apprehend the 18 people and register a case against them under the Gambling Act.
Rajesh Kumar, who had booked one of the two suites, was not located on the site and the police officials are actively working on his arrest.
Le Meridien Hotel Could Lose Their License
Hotel staff could also be in trouble for failing to report a suspicious activity on the premises, although they maintain the accused were properly registered at the hotel, even if the police have suggested the identities of 16 customers were not verified.
A hotel employee is adamant Le Meridien staff was completely unaware of the illegal activities in suites 620 and 622 as the guests claimed they were in the hotel for a birthday party.
Police have also asked New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to cancel the hotel license on the grounds of security breach.
Gambling in India
Lotteries and horse racing betting are the only legal forms of gambling in India, although the states of Goa and Sikkim also allow land-based casinos. But, with illegal gambling market estimated at $30 billion per year, the calls for legalized sports betting have started to appear throughout the country.
The Public Gambling Act of 1867 is still in effect and it prohibits operating a public gambling house, whilst the Information Technology Act of 2000 regulated online gambling in the country. Seeing as how it is up to individual states to regulate the gaming market, gambling remains legal in some parts of India and banned in others.