Madhya Pradesh has emerged as the gambling hub of the country as data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has revealed.
The data, released on Tuesday, has revealed that Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of gambling cases under the Gambling Act, in 2015.
Senior police officials, however, say that the data on gambling in the state does not reflect the true figure as gambling is on rise in the state and most of the lower level police officials find it source of making money in the rural areas.
The data shows that Madhya Pradesh recorded 22,618 cases under the act, followed by neighbouring Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
There are two sections of the gambling act that are used to penalize people. The first–Section 13 of the act–is used in penalizing people for gambling –commonly known as jua– while the other Section 4(A) is used for penalizing people placing bets in satta. Both are bailable offence and the penalty slapped by court is minimal, some of them say.
Indore deputy inspector of police Santosh Kumar Singh, says that in the last one year a number of drives against gambling were initiated by the state police in the districts, which have increased in the number of cases registered under the act.
‘Cops can extort easy money from people booked under gambling act’
A section of police officials, however, say that the reason behind the rise of gambling cases in the state is due to easy money police personnel can extort from people booked under the act.
“The main reason is it is easy to extort money in gambling cases from people who are booked under the act. People to avoid legal hassles and public shame, prefer to pay police officials,” says a senior police official posted in Nimad region.
“In my career I have came across a number of lower level officials who promote gambling as they get a share for the racket,” he says.
Gambling rampant in Ratlam, Khandwa, Burhanpur, Indore and Dhar
The districts where gambling is rampant in the state include Ratlam, Khandwa, Burhanpur, Indore and Dhar.
A superintendent of police level official posted in Malwa region, says that a large number of people in the region– most of whom are farmers and daily wage workers– gamble.
Most gambling cases are registered in the rural area as cognizable crime under sections of the Indian Penal Code are few so police conduct raids on gambling dens and follow up cases, he says.
“It takes lots of resources to follow up gambling cases and penalty is very less so in the urban areas police avoid registering cases unless it involves big money.”