Thimphu Police are cracking down on gambling, deemed illegal by law, and have so far arrested 29 people engaged in playing cards or rolling the dice for money, this month.
Six people were arrested on May 9 from Dechencholing, five people on May 22 from Changzamtog and three people on May 23 from the Hong Kong market area. Those arrested were civil servants, drivers, guides, private employees and housewives. Five are women.
Police said those arrested earlier this month are on bail and the cases have been forwarded to court. Police said they would keep arresting people engaged in gambling.
Section 393 of Penal Code of Bhutan 2004 states that a defendant is guilty of the offence of gambling, if the defendant stakes or wagers something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under the defendant’s control or influence upon an agreement or understanding that the defendant will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.
Section 394 states that the offence of gambling is a petty misdemeanour. Section 395 states that an authorized lottery is not considered gambling.
Police said that if a person is a repeated offender, he or she may be forbidden by court from paying bail the second time, and their punishment would be enhanced or doubled.
Police seized all cash and gambling materials from those arrested.