BENGALURU: Gambling activities that were limited to social and recreational clubs have now reached new heights with some people arranging gambling at hotels and private places just for the weekends. Huge profits and not being under the radar of police are said to be the reasons for a slight growth in the trend.
Saturday night’s CCB raid on a hotel in Mahalakshmi Layout, where 47 people were arrested for gambling, revealed that the organisers lured punters from the neighbouring states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, where there is total crackdown on gambling dens. The organisers had taken care of their flight charges and lodging.
“It was an ‘all-expenses borne’ activity for the punters, while the organisers charged them exorbitantly for each game. As per a rough estimate, the organisers made around Rs 50 lakh per weekend. It has been established that the illegal business was on for the last six months,” a CCB official said.
“Those who organise such gambling know where police are strictly against it. They have a broker in such places and he circulates information about organising gambling at a safe place. The message is passed only to trusted members. Whoever expresses interest will be given further information and the broker will be their point of contact throughout the event. In some cases, cover charges ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh will be levied,” the official added.
It is believed that such gambling is organised as there are frequent raids on clubs and known gambling dens. “Gambling is organised at hotels and other places in the outskirts to avoid police raids,” a police source added.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Alok Kumar told The New Indian Express, “Some elements organise gambling only during weekends at hotels and city outskirts assuming that the police do not know anything about it. But we are gathering information on such activities and initiating action against them.”
Kapali Mohan, the person accused of organising gambling at RG Hotel in Mahalakshmi Layout, is a big-time financier. “He has links with many Kannada film producers and has financed their movies. He is currently absconding and will be nabbed soon. During the raids, it was also found that he was lending money against exorbitant interest rates. A separate case has been booked against him for the same,” police said.
In 2014, CCB police had raided two hotels and arrested 59 gamblers from Gujarat. The gamblers had paid D2 lakh each to the person who had organised the gambling.