Lights out: SAC Zainol (right), Northeast District OCPD Asst Comm Anuar Omar and a TNB staff member showing a fuse and electricity meter taken down to cut off the power supply to a gaming centre in Prangin Mall.
GEORGE TOWN: Thirty gaming centres providing illegal gambling activities were rendered “powerless” after a joint operation by police and Tenaga Nasional Berhad that cut off their power supply.
State CID chief Senior Asst Comm Zainol Samah said the operation was carried out at all five districts in Penang yesterday under Section 21(A) of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953.
He said power supply to 10 premises in the central Seberang Prai district was disconnected, followed by eight in the north-east district, eight in the north Seberang Prai district, three in the south-west district and one in the south Seberang Prai district.
“We are committed to combating illegal gambling dens in the state with the launch of a special operation codenamed Ops Dadu Khas on May 25.
“Since then, we had 55 successful raids with seizure of 289 machines, comprising 140 simulators, 147 slot machines and two computers.
“We also picked up 347 people, including 284 customers, during the state-wide raids,” he told reporters after witnessing the disconnection of power supply to a gaming centre in Prangin Mall yesterday.
Earlier, The Star reported that many entertainment outlets, under the guise of “family theme parks”, were equipped with gaming machines that had gambling elements.
During his visit to Penang earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he wanted illegal gambling activities in the state eradicated.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng stressed that the state government did not have the power to issue gambling licences, adding that it did not have any ties with gambling syndicates either.
SAC Zainol said if operators of such centres remained adamant, action could be taken against them under the Prevention of Crime Act.
“The offenders can be detained at the Simpang Renggam detention centre or face restrictions at any district,” he said.