Police step up crackdown on gambling

Kathmandu, October 21

Police conducted raids at two gambling parlours in different places of the Valley and arrested 17 persons on charges of gambling yesterday. Police also seized over Rs 2,49,000 from them.

Though gambling is a usual happening, it becomes all-pervasive during the festivals, mainly Dashain and Tihar. During festivals, many houses, pubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, lodges and street corners turn into gambling dens. Increase in gambling activities keep police on their toes.

Following a tip-off about illegal gambling, a police team raided the first floor of the houses belonging to Dayaram Kahiti in Bholachhe of Bhaktapur Municipality-5 and health club on Ellis Road and found 12 persons with Rs 2,39,150. According to police, the arrestees were found gambling and betting on kauda, a game played with 16 sea shells, when the cops raided the house.

Separately, police arrested seven alleged gamblers with Rs 10,000 from the house of Manoj Tamang at Ason of Dakshinkali Municipality-1. They were also playing kauda. The accused were booked under the Gambling Act, 1963.

Law enforcement officials have long been complaining that the existing law is not tough enough to deter gamblers. As per the Act, a first-time offender can walk free after paying a fine of up to Rs 200 and a four-day stay in police custody.

Police said gambling also leads to social crimes. According to police, it has carried out more than 20 raids on hotels, lodges and houses in the in the past two months alone. “Gambling and crime are interwoven as addicted gamblers are more likely to commit crimes to support their gambling addiction. Crimes may also occur in gambling venues,” said a police official.