Gambling arrests in India said to include political leaders

Police in Mumbai have detained 133 people in relation to gambling offences.

Reports from local press indicate political leaders were among those held for investigation on 5 November after information was supplied describing illegal activities at the Sea Princess Hotel in Juhu.

Social activist Musa Shaikh filed a complaint with the police.

Gambling in India is heavily restricted except for specific categories including lotteries, horseracing and rummy, a card game the Indian Supreme Court describes as a game of skill.

Certain states do allow gambling to take place during festivals, such as Holi and Diwali, the latter occurring on 7 November this year, but only when it happens among friends and not in a public space.

Gambling during Diwali has religious connotations and is considered auspicious.

The courts have therefore stated a person allowing his home to the use of gambling during Diwali will not be said to be keeping a common gaming house.

This report follows arrests in Goa last weekend, where 11 individuals were held and around $2,468 was seized.

The North Goa Superintendent of Police was said to have raided a card game during a routine patrol of the area.