The Delhi Police on Tuesday busted an online casino that was being run in the garb of a video game parlour for children from a shop in East Delhi’s Krishna Nagar.
A 23-year-old man, who was the incharge of the gambling den, and four others were caught on Tuesday evening in a raid on the shop.
Senior police officers said the casino was busted after information was received that groups of men were frequenting a video game parlour meant for children. The police investigated and found that it was actually a gambling centre being run in the garb of a gaming centre.
Last week, the assistant commissioner of police of Gandhi Nagar area visited the parlour in mufti as a decoy customer. When he asked the incharge, Amit, about gambling, Amit refused offering such services. When the ACP prodded further, Amit told him that he must have a reference from a regular customer.
The next day a constable was sent to the shop as a decoy.
“Constable Pankaj offered a random name as reference and Amit agreed. The constable paid R1,000 cash and was provided a gambling station, shaped as a regular gaming console, and got 1000 points for betting. Pankaj was given a username and password for gambling and was promised that he will get R36,000 if he wins,” said a senior officer.
Pankaj lost and returned. He briefed the ACP about how the racket was being run. The ACP told DCP (Shahdara) Nupur Prasad and teams were formed to raid the premises.
“Besides Amit, four of his customers were also arrested. They were booked under sections 12 and 17 of the anti-gambling law. The five were later released on bail,” said the DCP.
Prasad told HT that the online casino was operating in a 20x15 feet shop on the second floor of a shopping complex in Krishna Nagar since August 2016. The casino owner, Shailesh Jaiswal, had got a licence from the licensing unit of Delhi Police for running a video game parlour.
“The licence of the gaming parlour expired on December 31, 2016. Locals claimed that they had never seen children visiting the shop,” said Prasad.
The police seized nine computers that were being used for gambling games such as roulette, fun target, triple fun, bingo, golden wheel, etc.
The gambling den was run by and for a select few and entry was by invitation only. Those involved used to let in a new person only after getting assurance from each other about his credentials. The group used to avoid communicating on secure messaging platforms to escape police attention.
“This gambling ring was limited to friends and their close acquaintances. The minimum entry fee was R1,000. There was no maximum limit,” said Prasad.
Jaiswal said the police will investigate further to bust similar rackets, if any.