KATHMANDU: Police have stepped up crackdown on gambling dens to combat the rising trend of illegal gambling being covertly operated from houses in the capital.

In the past two weeks alone, police raided seven different locations in Kathmandu and rounded up 70 persons on gambling charges.

A total of Rs 992,030 were confiscated from them during this period. The Metropolitan Police Range, Hanumandhoka, in its new work plan, aims to step up action against immoral activities, including, theft, hooliganism, prostitution and gambling, among others.

A team from the Metropolitan Police Circle, Boudha, yesterday arrested nine individuals on gambling charges from a local restaurant in Danchhi owned by Bijay Subedi, one of the arrestees.

Police confiscated Rs 35,400 in cash and three decks of cards from the scene.

Further investigations are under way, police said.

On February 7, 24 gamblers were arrested with Rs 817,245 in cash, the biggest single-day arrest in the last two weeks, from two houses in Phulbari of Boudha and Gautam Marg of Kathmandu.

Other raids were carried out at Mitranagar, Gautam Marga, Battisputali and New Baneshwor.

According to investigating officials, most arrestees were regular casino-goers.

After police have stepped up its surveillance at casinos to curb the entry of Nepali gamblers, trend of Nepalis going to casinos has come down.

Meanwhile, those regular casino frequenters have started covertly operating gambling dens in restaurants and houses.

The law bars Nepali citizens from entering casinos with the intent of gambling.

Police officials say all ‘seasoned gamblers’ are shifting to gambling dens in search of a safer place.

The recent raids and arrests in various guest houses and restaurants in Kathmandu also support the fact.

Police also believe that there are several well-furnished ‘mini casinos’ operating in the capital.

The Gambling Act-1963 is not strong enough as gamblers and operators of gambling dens can easily be let off the hook with a meagre fine, according to officials. Source4: HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

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