After nearly four decades of gentlemanly entertainment, the Madurai United Club in the country’s southern reaches may be shut down by Indian police.
As Indian gambling news sources indicate, the move comes after a raid uncovered proof of gambling and unauthorized alcohol consumption on the club’s premises this Wednesday. Both of these activities are illegal in recreation clubs, such as the United.
In fact, gambling is prohibited throughout the country, with Indian gambling laws making exceptions for Sikkim and Goa, but not Tamil Nadu, where Madurai is located.
While players in many countries around the world where brick-and-mortar gambling is banned play via mobile casinos this is often not a suitable solution for certain demographics, who either have no access to the necessary infrastructure or simply enjoy the social aspect of live presence.
In this particular case police arrested 41 people in the operation, including patrons and employees of the club. Most of those arrested were senior citizens, including doctors, lawyers, teachers, as well as retired police officials. They were later released on bail.
Officers also seized 415,000 Rupees (USD 7,500) in cash, which was “huge money for the size of the club.”
Former members of the police were not only among the patrons of Madurai United, but one of them was also involved in operating it.
According to Deputy Commissioner, R. Thirunavukkarasu, the place “had been run only as a recreation club until a few months ago. The presence of retired police officials in the club emboldened those who run it to allow gambling and drinking.”
They owners clearly got it wrong, and this may spell the end of the establishment, which has been in operation since 1974.
Mr. Thirunavukkarasu also warned that the raid was not just a one-off event, but part of an ongoing effort to curb illegal gambling in Madurai’s clubs.