In The Name Of Diwali Robust Gambling In Guwahati Hotels & Clubs
Recently, the police busted a gambling den and arrested 58 people who were allegedly playing the casino from a hotel room in south Delhi's Ghitorni area ahead of Diwali. This obviously begs the question: so what is the gambling situation in Guwahati? Especially during Diwali festival or leading up to it?
Needless to say, it is an open secret that Guwahatians, elite or otherwise, take to gambling big time in the city’s plush hotels and private clubs where stakes run high even as the liquor flows.
A prominent city-based businessman, talking to G Plus, under condition of anonymity said, “The gamblers have been busy since last week and this bout of gambling will continue till 29th October (Tuesday).”
The businessman who is from Fancy Bazar area revealed that most of the hotels provide rooms for gambling during Diwali as the hotels earn a lot from such temporary gambling tables.
“The games start in the evening at around 7 pm to 8 pm and continue till the wee hours of the next day - 4 am to 5 am. During the entire night the gamblers order food and liquor from the hotel and offer huge tips to the hotel staff,” added the businessman.
Another businessman and a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member, Rajkumar Tiwari, talking to G Plus said, “There are some people who play cards as a Diwali ritual. But gradually for many it has become a source of earning huge amounts of money. Needless to say, some also lose big time.” He expressed that the gamblers locate a place where they can sit, eat, drink and gamble which is easier in the city’s hotels and clubs, Therefore, the hotels and clubs are frequented by those who hold interest in gambling during Diwali.
Another source said that the boards in hotels starts with Rs 1,000 (blind) and Rs 2000 (seen), but gradually the stakes rise to Rs 10,000 blind and Rs 20,000 seen. So anyone winning one hand or board earns around Rs 3 lakhs to Rs 5 lakhs in one go. “Last year during Diwali one gambler from AT Road had won Rs 1.5 crores,” said the source.
A G Plus team also visited some hotels in the city to enquire if they do rent out rooms for gambling. The hotels denied the same but a source said that the rooms are given for gambling only to patrons who are known to the hotel owners or managers.
Wondering if gambling during Diwali remains an illegal activity of pastime, G Plus talked to the officer-in-charge of Paltan Bazar Police station. It was understood that gambling is illegal all year round and Diwali is no exception. The officer said, “We will carry out drives against illegal gambling in hotels.”
But another businessman said that it is quite impossible for the police to act against such illegal activities as influential and powerful people gamble in such hotels and clubs.
Prominent businessmen, bureaucrats and even politicians indulge in gambling during Diwali and the hotel management keeps such activities very secret.
Talking about the various gambling games, it is mostly Teen Patti (or Flash) that is played in the hotels and clubs.
The practice of gambling during Diwali is rather traditional and it began with the celestial game of dice. But over time, it has made way for card games, particularly Teen Patti and Rummy.