Andhra Pradesh

Guntur police crack the whip on clubs encouraging gambling

LVR and Sons Club in Guntur.

LVR and Sons Club in Guntur.   | Photo Credit: T_VIJAYA_KUMAR

Urban SP issues charge memos to two police inspectors

In tune with the directions of Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Guntur Urban Police have begun cracking down on clubs where gambling is being conducted for many years. Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy had reiterated at the Collector’s Conference that illegal gambling would not be allowed any where in the State and directed the SPs to crack down on any such activity.

Superintendent of Police, Guntur Urban, PHD Ramakrishna, swung into action immediately after taking charge, and said that gambling should be stopped immediately. He had even given charge memos to police inspectors in Arundelpet and Nallapadu, where two of the oldest clubs in the town are existing.

Guntur, a known trading and cultural hub, has a legacy of having clubs which have encouraged sports, libraries and philanthropic activities. North Club on Pattabhipuram Road which was started by a group of well-known advocates, has tennis courts and indoor shuttle badminton courts.

LVR & Sons Club and Reading Room on the Koretipadu Road, was also started in the year 1898 with the intention of providing some recreation to businessmen. The club has a rich legacy of hosting major sports tournaments in snooker, tennis and carroms.

Guntur Club on the Palakaluru Road, has some of the best sporting facilities, including a indoor shuttle badminton courts, swimming pool and a gymnasium.

On the flip side though, these clubs have been in the news for the wrong reasons and are being accused of allowing gambling. Except for some sporadic police raids, most of the clubs continue to allow gambling even as police turn a blind eye.

Though gambling is banned as per law, most clubs have been citing a High Court order which has allowed ‘rummy,’ in recreation clubs. Though transaction in cash is banned, members could buy tokens and play the game of cards.

Most of the clubs follow 80 points system (full count). The wager for one point could range anything between ₹100 to ₹10,000. If the wager is ₹100 for one point the person making full count would get (₹100 X 80 = ₹8,000). Depending on the stakes, members could choose opt to be part of deluxe clubs where stakes are much higher.

‘Social evil’

Civic society has welcomed the decision of the State government. “Gambling is a social evil and gambling is illegal in many countries. In USA, gambling is allowed only in select places. Most clubs in Guntur demand a membership of ₹5 lakh to ₹10 lakh. Where are the clubs getting money from?” says L.S.N. Prasad, former Professor of Economics.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 2:29:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/guntur-police-crack-the-whip-on-clubs-encouraging-gambling/article28139398.ece

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