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Gambling dens’ luck runs out

Illegal gambling operators in the state can bet on hard times ahead, with the Penang police committed to wiping them out.
As of June 4 this year, police conducted 211 raids on illegal gambling dens in the state and made 315 arrests, compared to 140 raids with 234 arrests for the whole of last year.
In this year’s raids to date, 1,234 simulator machines, slot machines and laptops were seized, against 703 last year.
The latest raid was conducted at a gambling den in Bandar Baru Air Itam on Tuesday night.
State police chief Comm Datuk Wira Chuah Ghee Lye said they had been raiding family entertainment outlets which are licensed by local authorities after receiving public complaints on gambling activities.
He said it was a challenge to bust such outlets because the operators took a lot of precautions. Some of them employ lookouts to warn of raiding parties while others only admit regulars.
“Even if we get in, they will switch off the computers or change the screens to show other games,” he said.
“We have to conduct undercover operations but it’s not easy because the operators and workers can identify us.”
Comm Chuah said the police had even sent gambling experts in to play the games and gather evidence that could be used in court.
He said such outlets could be abusing their licences after getting approval from local authorities.
“We will check on them. We have been carrying out raids and we will continue to do so,” he added.

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