Online Gambling Raids in Goa Lead to Arrests of Russian, Ukrainian Nationals
Posted on: September 21, 2022, 12:13h.
Last updated on: September 21, 2022, 04:39h.
Police in Goa, India, upset an illegal gambling operation Wednesday that could have far-reaching implications. While raiding a commercial space in the village of Mandrem, they uncovered an online gambling outfit that included Russian and Ukrainian participants.
The Goa police crime branch, responding to an anonymous tip, paid a surprise visit to a rented commercial space in the village.
There, they discovered five people playing Texas Hold’em for money. But they weren’t just entertaining themselves with a friendly game of poker. They reportedly ran an online gambling website which will now be dissected by forensics experts.
As part of the raid, police arrested five people. One was from Delhi and another from Mumbai. But there were also two Russians and one Ukrainian.
On Tuesday, police also raided an apartment in the village of Calangute and arrested four people operating an online gambling site. Between the two raids, police seized approximately $3,126.
While notable, neither bust was as big as one from August. In that raid, the police arrested 21 people managing an illegal online gambling site out of a rented apartment in Janakpuri in Delhi.
Despite the surprise raid, one of the suspects managed to flee. He didn’t get away with all of the money, though, as police reportedly seized around $17,500 at the scene.
Illegal Gambling in India
Gambling, for the most part, is illegal in India. The topic is routinely brought up for debate, and the results are polarizing. The country tries to create separation between games of skill and games of chance but doesn’t always get the definitions correct.
India defines poker as a game of luck that requires no skill. If this were the case, poker pros like Phil Hellmuth, Vanessa Selbst, and others wouldn’t have had the success they have had. Hellmuth is the current record-holder for WSOP bracelets, with 16, and has made 64 WSOP final table appearances.
States in the country have also been able to formulate their own gambling laws. Goa is one of the few states to have legalized casinos. The other two are Sikkim and Daman. Goa also allows online gambling, but only through licensed platforms like elsewhere.
Online Gambling Regs Advance
A government panel recently released a draft that proposes the establishment of a regulatory framework for online gambling in India, according to Reuters. It recommends stricter rules against online gambling.
It also recommends the creation of a regulatory body to distinguish games based on luck and those that require skills. In addition, the new regulations would clearly define which gaming formats fall into which category.
The report suggests that the government should consider implementing separate laws to regulate online gambling as a “long-term measure.” Understanding that what it suggests is not an easy task, the report recommends putting the online gambling segment under the management of existing IT laws, which govern all forms of eCommerce.
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