India has recently broached the topic of regulating gambling across multiple states, with the most recent one being Meghalaya. Local opposition has been mounting over the past weeks, though, and different groups have spoken against a proposal to introduce more regulated gambling options lest it begets more vice. In fact, many people are exploring gambling with or without states’ permission.
India Shows No Leniency Towards Gambling Offenders
The fact is Indians continue to gamble illegally in the absence of a regulated market that can overtake the unregulated one. Most recently, an Esplanade magistrate court sentenced nine people to six months in prison for breaching the Maharashtra Prevent of Gambling Act. Their offenses go back to August 2011 and took place at the Cuffe Parade.
The initial arrests were the results of an operation conducted by the ACP which received a tip about the gambling operation. The culprits had rented a room in the hotel where they were playing cards. Two of them admitted to running an illegal gambling operation, and more than $162,000 were found on the scene at the time of the raid.
Almost a decade after the fact, the offenders tried to receive leniency for good behavior and cited that they were first-time offenders. Thanks to the Probation of Offenders Act, first-time offenders may indeed seek lighter sentences. However, the prosecutor doubted whether the Probation of Offenders Act applied in this case.
However, the court was not swayed and explained that the people clearly had the means to book a five-star hotel and organize a gambling scheme. They were also found in possession of a huge amount of money. The court suggested that the offenders would not have stopped voluntarily had they not been caught fairly early into their scheming and ruled that an actual prison sentence would be best applied in this case.
The fact that the incident took place more than ten years ago did not sway the court to look any favorably.