Cyprus Mail

Bases police raid illegal casino (updated)

By George Psyllides

British bases (SBA) police on Monday raided an establishment, which operated as a casino in the village of Trachoni in the Limassol district.

Police arrested two suspects during the large-scale operation involving 120 officers from the two bases in Akrotiri and Dhekelia.

SBA authorities sealed off the area during the morning raid, which was not the first on the specific establishment.

Officers arrested the 27-year-old manager and another man, 30, for obstructing the work of the police.

They seized 15 gaming tables, 60 computers, seven fruit machines, the casino’s surveillance system and other equipment.

In a previous operation, a patron deliberately hit an officer with his car, an incident for which he is currently doing jail time.

Casinos are banned in the Republic although the government is looking into granting a limited number of licenses.

SBA legislation usually mirrors that of the Republic.

On coming to power, the present government asked the tourism organisation to update a 2007 study into the creation of casinos to help the government decide on the form they would take – whether they will be accompanied by other development projects.
Cypriots already spend millions on gambling – on illegal online games, unregulated betting shops and casinos in the north.

Greek Cypriots spend an estimated €6m a year on casinos in the north.
The original CTO study into developing casinos in the government-controlled areas predicted annual revenues for the state of between €35 and €50 million, as well as a significant boost in employment opportunities.

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