The South Delhi Vigilance branch recently busted a group of people involved in illegal gambling in New Delhi on Tuesday 22 August, resulting in a total of 30 people being arrested.
A 13-acre farmhouse in central South Delhi where local TV shows and Bollywood films are produced was turned each night into an undercover land-based casino. At night, the farmhouse was a fully-fledged casino with large gambling tables, dealers, and attendants. Only the wealthy folk from Delhi and surrounding towns of Gurgaon and Noida came to the farmhouse for high-stakes play. They would enter their haven after hours to play casino games such as blackjack, roulette, and poker.
The ‘players’ who played at the farmhouse notified each other of the times and dates of the next game sessions through a WhatsApp group and verbal communication. Entry to the location where the farmhouse is situated (Fatehpur Beri) was also tightly regulated, let alone access to the farmhouse itself. Fatehpur Beri has a notorious pseudo name “Vatican City” which was initially named by local cops due to the stringent security put in place to restrict entry for many people especially of ‘low profile’.
The secret casino’s existence was however put to a sudden halt by the police after they were tipped off by members of the public. A total of 30 people were arrested including bar-tenders (all of whom were female), 12 business men, organisers, dealers and the farmhouse owner himself. The Vigilance branch also seized exotic illegal liquor, chips worth several crores in denominations of Rs 1000, 3000, 5000 and 10000, and thirteen sedans.
All Patrons Arrested
After being tipped off of the unlawful casino operating along Dera Mandi Road, the local police laid out a trap in the hopes to catch the unsuspecting parties. They raided the farmhouse at around 11 PM on August 22nd and discovered quite a few patrons gambling on four big casino tables. Everyone present, which were 30 in total, were detained in custody for questioning. As part of the group that was arrested, the farmhouse owner attempted to plead his innocence by stating that he had only rented out the establishment. However, police personnel were not convinced and went on to detain him as well.
The farmhouse bust up was not the first time the South Delhi Vigilance branch had to break up an unlawful casino as a number of other raids took place in Sainik Farms and Vasant Kunj areas in the past. The reason as to why the operation was completely illegal is based on its geographical location as casinos are only legally recognised in the areas of Sikkim, Daman, and Goa in South Delhi.
At the end of it all, the police opened two FIRs (First Information Reports) for those arrested under the Excise Act and the Gambling Act.