30 July, 2021

­Spanner In The Wheels ­Of Fortune

Gambling raids in Delhi are a good time to rethink revenue loss of Rs 19,000 crore

Delhi Dens
An illegal casino in Vasant Kunj
Photograph by Jitender Gupta
­Spanner In The Wheels ­Of Fortune

On a Saturday night, a week ­before Diwali, a dozen gleaming luxury cars are parked outside J-255, a posh bungalow in New Delhi’s Sainik Farms. Inside J-255, the owners of these cars, the majority being the city’s real estate honchos, are anxiously waiting for the game to begin. The minimum a player needs to put down on the table is Rs 5 lakh. Gambling is a game of chance, but then what game isn’t!

By midnight, the gathering’s size has doubled—20 men, and the stakes are running into millions. They are serviced by a staff of 11, who take care of the food, drinks and the cars. At around 2:30 am, this ­engrossed contingent hears an ­unexpected knock on the door. Acting on a tip-off, the Delhi police has landed there with a team from two police stations. The game is over. A sorry entourage of alleged gamblers is taken to the station. This is a big gambling bust for the police. For those looking to take a chance with their money, J-255 will be a destination no more.

The Delhi police arrested 36 people that morning, including the...

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