Gambling games back in malls

AL AIN - With the summer shopping season setting in, gambling games have returned to several shopping centres in Al Ain city despite raids by the Commercial Activities Department that had seized such games in the past.

By Lana Mahdi (Our staff reporter)

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Published: Sun 27 Jul 2008, 1:49 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:18 PM

Parents of many teenagers and other children said games like roulette, which are illegal as they are against the local tradition and religion, are allowed in some malls.

They said some games are strange and distasteful like 'WC' (toilet) game. Parents said this is a disgusting game in which the player tries to pull balls inside the toilet flush pot. Ali Ahmed Mustafa, an expatriate working in Al Ain, said the parents could control their children inside houses.

They could also monitor the topics or sites the children browse on the Internet, but some shopping malls have installed the equipment for these illegal games on their premises. Another parent, Ihab Saed, said a big shopping mall in the city is offering roulette to children in contravention of the country's culture and tradition.

Maysa Ahmed, a mother of four children, said she usually leaves her children in the games corner of the mall. She was astonished one day when she found her youngest son playing the 'WC' game.

"It was a really disgusting scene," she added.

She said the residents, especially parents, are worried as they feel these games are not suitable for their children. They wonder how these games are being allowed by the mall administration as stakes of money are involved in a game like roulette.

The gambling games are based on a simple system. The winner's account that is registered on a particular card is directly converted to coins and the winner gets gift vouchers. Roulette is a gambling game in which a ball is dropped on to a revolving wheel with numbered compartments.

The residents have appealed to the Al Ain Municipality to seize the roulette and other illegal games on offer at the malls.

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