‘Mini casinos’ operating freely in the heart of KL

Mini casinosPETALING JAYA: There is not one, but five “mini casinos” operating in a popular shopping mall in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, and the authorities are seemingly oblivious to it.

According to a report in the New Straits Times today, the gambling dens operate under the facade of family entertainment centres, Internet cafes and even beauty outlets.

A check by the daily revealed that the patrons at these joints included minors as well as Muslim men.

Among the “games” offered were blackjack, poker and roulette, besides one-arm bandit machines, said the report, adding that foreign employees at the dens were also available to “guide” amateurs who visited the premises.

While all businesses at the mall operate from 10am to 10pm daily, these gambling dens were exempted from this rule, and allowed to operate from 9am to 5am the next day, said the report.

The newspaper tipped off the police about the gambling dens on Monday, after which they were given the run around, with some officers claiming they were unable to act due to loopholes in the city’s entertainment laws.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) was of no help either, with an officer telling the daily that they “needed to carry out a thorough investigation first” and that expecting swift action was “unreasonable.”

A raid was eventually conducted yesterday, said the report, but the gambling dens raided were “conspicuously” devoid of customers, it added.

This was reportedly in contrast with the endless stream of customers seen there a few days prior to the raid. This could be the result of “a leak” about the impending raids, the daily said.

Only six individuals employed at the gambling dens, including a foreign woman gambling at one of them, were rounded up. 43 computers, and some cash, were also seized.

The policeman leading the operation confirmed to the daily that the foreign woman, “may have missed the memo” on the raid.