The police are on a high alert to keep an eye open for illegal gambling that is already taking place in the Koraput district in Jeypore. Each year, illegal gambling activity reaches a peak during the time of Dussehra and Diwali. A number of different wagering games are played during this time with gambling on traditional betting games having become somewhat of a ritual.
Small gambling dens tend to crop up all over, including on street corners, and others that are more well hidden. There are a number of gambling games that are played including both dice and card games. As with any large number of people who are gambling, some have their gambling under control and play for the fun and entertainment aspects of the games, and others are hoping to turn a small sum of money into a larger one. Amongst the players, there are also compulsive gamblers who join in with the games.
The stakes in the games can run into lakhs of rupees, and there are even those who have been known to lose not only their life savings, their homes or land too. The police are trying to prevent such great losses from taking place, and while the players may be passionate about playing, the police are passionate about increasing gambling raids in the Jeypore area.
Raids have been intensified and police have already arrested a number of people caught in gambling dens. Tapan Kumar Rath, the IIC of the Jeypore police station, said: “In the past one week, we have arrested a dozen people and recovered thousands of rupees from them. Our raids on gambling dens will continue.”
It is understood that it is difficult to fight against the gambling tradition as part of the festivities, and the police tend to concentrate more on investigating professional gambling dens.
A Jeypore police officer said: “It is difficult to completely contain the illegal practice during this season when people in the name of tradition provide money to their children to lay bets at their or their friends’ houses. We are keeping a strict vigil on activities.”