Police enforcing gambling law

| 18/09/2008

(CNS): Another two women have been arrested on gambling related charges, the second arrest in a week, and according to the current Police Commissioner the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service will be enforcing the law with regard to the illegal numbers game and other forms of gambling. “The fact is, the ‘numbers’ game is illegal and can often be linked to other forms of crime,” said David George.

“In addition, any place that carries large sums of cash, and is known to carry it, increases their risk of becoming a victim of serious crime. This is a holistic approach to crime prevention; through tackling the selling of numbers, we hope to prevent crime from taking place and demonstrate a proportionate response to crime,” he added.

The latest arrests occurred on Saturday, 13 September, following an operation at McRuss Grocery store when the 46- and 49-year-old women were arrested on suspicion of selling illegal lottery tickets. One of the women was also arrested on suspicion of using a place as a common gaming house. The women have been released on police bail pending further investigations. On Saturday, 7 September, police arrested a 32-year-old woman on suspicion of illegal gambling in George Town.

Suspended Deputy Police Commissioner Rudolph Dixon is currently facing charges which relate to his role in releasing two men without charge who had been arrested on Cayman Brac under the gambling law, in June 2003. Dixon had reportedly asked Reginald Branch, the Chief Inspector at the time, to release the men as, he said, it was not police policy to prosecute people for gambling offences. The incident occurred several months after the United Democratic Party administration had established a commission to look into a legalised lottery for Cayman.

The charge, Doing an act tending and intended to pervert the course of public justice, has been made against Dixon following investigations into police corruption by the independent enquiry headed by Martin Bridger .

Dixon has previously voiced his thoughts publicly that for the police to actively pursue illegal gambling the service would also have to consider pursuing church raffles and other games of chance used to raise cash for local charities.

While gambling does remain illegal in the Cayman Islands, there has been a tendency for the police not to pursue this particular crime, and there have been very few arrests or prosecutions in recent years. The possibility of repealing the law is a frequent subject of debate among politicians, the local community and members of the church, even more so in recent times with the explosion in Internet gambling sites, which enable people to gamble freely in their own homes.

Moreover, rumours have long circulated in Cayman that there are a number of people in positions of authority who are actively engaged in the illegal gambling business, which has been estimated to generate millions of dollars every week.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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  1. Marek says:

    I personally have  nothing against gaming as long as it is responsible/recreational gaming. But we don’t need it in our backyard. If you want a lottery ticket call a relative or friend in the US and ask them to buy you one and fax you a copy. If you want poker there are a number of decent online sites and if you want live action British Airways can get you to Nassau in under two hours.

    As to the comment ‘million of dollars per week’, if 20% of our adult population +/- 5,000 people are addicted to the local numbers games and ‘millions’ means $3… each person would have to be spending $600 per week… extremely unlikely.

    More likely the number might be 5% of the adult population 1,000-1,500 people spending perhaps $10-$15 a week would imply monthly wagering of perhaps $100,000…  a relatively small problem in the overall scheme of things.




  2. Anonymous says:

    WOW, did anyone else see the Glass House shaking?

    A brave welcomed move by our Acting Police Commissioner.  

    This action if sustained needs to go from the roots to the last leaf at the top of the Cayman Islands "Tree", because illegal gambling is systemic in the Cayman Islands. 

    How much support will our Legislators give to our Acting Police Commissioner?

    Do our Legislators have the "Political will" to put some teeth into the gambling law?

    If our Legislators really do not want our Cayman Islands to become another Caribbean gambling vacation destination, because of tourism we will "have" to allow it in the future arguments have already been made, etc., then will they include in the constitution a section to prevent all forms of gambling or games of chance? 

    That is what constitutions are for, stating the fundamental wishes of the drafters.

    If not then then the Legislators are knowingly leaving the option open to, at the right time, introduce gambling in the future.

    Will "Mysteriously Dropped Gambling Cases" be revived? 

    Good luck Mr. Acting Police Commissioner, we will now wait to see how much the legal system, Government (elected / Civil Service) and the public really supports your brave actions.



  3. Anonymous says:

    I assume that raffles (which are also illegal) will also now be prosecuted then

  4. Anonymous says:

    About time!