RENTED ACCOMMODATIONS, rooms in guesthouses and hotels have turned safe havens for organised gambling and betting rackets in the Tricity. The reason: Avoiding the penalty for owing, keeping and having charge of a gaming house under Section 3 of The Public Gambling Act, 1867.
Section 3 of the Public Gambling Act, 1867, has provision for three months’ imprisonment for the owner of gaming house along with a fine not exceeding Rs 200.
A Chandigarh police officer said, “People who indulge in gambling prefer to run these activities in rented accommodations including booths, guesthouses, hotel rooms just to avoid the penalty. In most such cases, when people are apprehended, property owners claim that gambling was going on without their knowledge.”
Advocate Harish Bhardwaj said, “Although gambling falls in the category of a petty offence, the Act has provision to punish the owner of gaming house. A gaming house means any house, walled enclosure and place in which cards, dice, tables or other instruments of gaming are kept or used for the profit or gain of the person owning.”
Five such cases were reported in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula in the past six months.
On August 8, 2018, 27 people were arrested for gambling and Rs 16.40 lakh was recovered from them from a room in Hotel Shivwalikview in Sector 17. The raid was conducted under the supervision of SSP Nilambari Vijay Jagdale.
On August 22, five men were arrested from a room in a Sector 26 hotel for gambling and Rs 2.87 lakh was recovered from them. On October 13, last year, nine men were arrested from a guesthouse in Burail, Sector 45, and Rs 35,000 was recovered from them.
On December 1 last year, five men were arrested from a rented house on Zirakpur Road in Mohali for betting on a cricket match during T-10 league tournament.
Panchkula DCP Kamldeep Goel said, “It is a fact that such activities are being operated from rented accommodations. We are going to adopt strict measures to crack down on the use of rented accommodations for illegal activities. We are also coordinating with neighbouring police authorities in this connection.”
On January 5 this year, Kalka police in Panchkula arrested three men for gambling near a guesthouse on old Kalka Road.