Computer game parlours blamed for promoting gambling

RAS AL KHAIMAH — Certain computer game parlours here are alleged to have been providing a cover for illegal activities under the guise of electronic games.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sun 17 Sep 2006, 9:32 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:24 PM

According to a senoior offical of RAK Criminal Investigations Department (CID), these game parlours are illicitly providing their customers with gambling and betting games in violation of the country’s laws.

“We have recently received credible information that some electronic parlours practice gambling and betting, which is a stark violation of the country’s trade and criminal laws,” Colonel Abdullah Munachas of the CID, said.

The official also pointed out that plans had been formulated in coordination with the RAK Economic Department (RED) to monitor these shops. The code numbers 413, 414 and 416 of the Federal Penal Law, 1987, strictly prohibit all kinds of gambling and betting.

“I do call upon the authorities concerned to carefully scrutinise any application for such a licence,” said Mubarek Al Shamsi, Director of the RAK Municipality (RM).

The RAK Economic Department (RED) had recently ordered the closure of six electronic game parlours that were found to be involved in gambling and betting. A joint team from the RED and RAK Police Department (RPD) ordered the closure of the parlours, located in different parts of the emirate, after it was ascertained that they had turned into centres of gambling.

“Such activities are not included in their trade licences and are also a great violation of the emirate’s trade laws and regulations,” he added. The move came in the light of many complaints lodged by the public with the RED.

“We have received so many complaints from people of different Arab, Asian, and European nationalities that they have lost large amounts of money when they took part in gambling in the closed shops,” a top RED official said. “We are very concerned about the social impact of gambling,” he added.

Two of the complainants claimed that they had lost Dh1million and Dh600,000 respectively through betting at the parlours. “Most of the victims ranged in ages between 18 and 40 years, and some of them even resorted to taking bank loans for gambling,” he added.

While some of the victims took bank loans in the name of their wives, others resorted to selling their personal cars to raise money for gambling. One of the complainants also asserted that he stopped going to his house because of the enormous financial losses incurred by him due to betting in the closed parlours.

“In order to protect society from the adverse impact of such unlawful practices, we call upon all electronic and video game centres to adhere strictly to the conditions stated in their licences. Some errant youth resort to gambling because they have deviated from the right religious and social path of our community and nation,” said Jamal Mohammed Khalifah, a UAE national. He also pointed out that Islamic teachings strongly prohibit such activities.

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