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June 19, 2010

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Police uncover 40 gambling machines

MORE than 40 gambling machines were discovered by police in a games arcade at a shopping center in Putuo District, local authorities said yesterday.

The games arcade has been suspended from businesses and is being investigated.

Police said they believe management of the Bailian Zhonghuan Commerce Plaza which housed the arcade knew of the gambling activities and allowed them to continue.

"It's possible that the shopping venue is making profits from the gambling machines," said a Putuo police officer.

Police were tipped off by residents that the Maoyi Arcade Town, on the ground floor of the Bailian plaza, was attracting dozens of youths trying their luck on slot machines.

A local resident surnamed Wang told Shanghai East Radio that his son and daughter-in-law often visited the arcade and had lost more than 70,000 yuan (US$10,250) in half a month.

They also spent more than 20,000 yuan on the gambling machines there last October so they had "invested" about 100,000 yuan in the place.

Wang said the arcade had been shut down last year for operating gambling machines, which is illegal on the Chinese mainland, but the business reopened earlier this year.

But a Putuo District government surnamed Shen denied the arcade had been raided last year for conducting illegal business.

The arcade looks similar to other games parlours but at the back there was a dark room where game machines could be concealed.

Residents also complained about several more underground gambling venues -- on Yanchang Road W. and Yichuan Road -- where people, even students, spend thousands of yuan.


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