AFTER lying low for about a year, the operators of illegal gaming outlets are back in operation in Port Klang making the town popular for gamblers.
Most of the customers of these gaming outlets are youths and foreigners.
Residents and business operators are wondering why the authorities, especially the Klang Muncipal Council (MPK) is closing an eye to the problem.
Operating under tight security by not allowing access to unknown personalities and with heavy presence of closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) at the entrance of the premises, the operators have capitalised on the availability of numerous vacant shops in Jalan Cungah and Lorong Cungah to carry out the illegal activity.
Following a public tip-off, StarMetro made a random check in the area and found more than 20 illegal gaming outlets in the town; a high number for a small town.
Jalan Cungah has 15 gaming outlets while the adjacent Lorong Cungah has six.
There are such outlets in Leboh Beringin, Lorong Berangan and Jalan Kem.
According to a sundry shop operator A. John, 61, the presence of the illegal gaming outlets had marred the image of the town.
He said there were too many gaming outlets in the area and it reflected poorly on enforcement authorities including police and MPK.
“The presence of the illegal activity is very obvious and I do not understand why no action is being taken to close them down,” he said.
Another resident George Teh, 40, said most of the operators had sealed the front of their premises with concrete walls thus customers entered from the side entrance where the stairs was located.
“The customers to the outlets are required to press the bell which is placed at the entrance before they are allowed to enter the premises.
“The doors will also have a “no-helmet” sign which is an indication used by the operators to inform the customers that it was a gaming outlet,” he said.
A check by StarMetro also revealed that some of the outlets denied access to outsiders for fear of being raided by the authorities.
Apart from monitoring through CCTVs, most of the outlets also deployed individuals to be on the watch outside the premises to alert the operators when the authorities are around the corner.
Some of the outlets also had “shop-for-rent” signboards in front of the premises to avoid attention by the authorities.
Most of the workers at such outlets, including the cashiers, are foreigners, mostly from Indonesia and Myanmar.
South Klang OCPD Asst Comm Azman Abdul Razak believed that the operators of the illegal gaming centres had made a comeback after a lay-off for several months.
He said his team had conducted raids on the illegal gaming centres in Port Klang and closed them down.
“I am surprised they have returned to their old tricks but we will go after them again,” he said.
MPK senior corporate communications director Norfiza Mahfiz said the council would work closely with the police to check on the illegal gaming centres in Port Klang.