ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Police on Saturday shut down an illegal casino in the center of Erbil, arresting many who were involved in running the underground casino, including foreign nationals.
The gambling operation was being run in the neighborhood of Bakhtiyari, inside a regular house. It was secretly run by four women of Kazakh, Turkish, and Iraqi origin, with the support of seven Kurdish youths, the spokesperson for Erbil Police, Hogir Azizi, told Kurdistan 24.
Police officers also confiscated gambling machines and paraphernalia being used in the house.
“We have arrested these four women and seven men suspected of illegally and clandestinely opening and operating the casino,” Aziz said.
“There are individuals who reportedly have lost nearly $3.5 million in this casino, others some $2 million,” he claimed.
He also mentioned that police would continue to search for similar operations and shut down illegal casinos in the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region.
“We will also arrest those who are present or caught gambling in those [establishments],” Aziz concluded.
Kurdish police forces over the years have shut down many illegal casinos and gambling operations in Erbil and other cities in the Kurdistan Region.
Editing by Nadia Riva
(Additional reporting by Zerdasht Hame)