Citing gambling as the reason, in March 2011, the then city police commissioner A K Khan has ordered a crackdown on the city family clubs. Among the 42 registered clubs in the city, card rooms in 90% clubs were shut down during that period. A few old clubs like Nizam Club, Secunderabad Club and Fateh Maidan Club were the only exceptions.
However, some clubs have opened their card rooms a few months ago, saying that only rummy was being played at their premises, which is not illegal. Following the suicide of a gambler at Country Club in Begumpet on August 24, 2011, gambling activity was again stopped at all the clubs.
However, since the last one month, most of the clubs in the city have re-opened their card rooms. As of now, 18 clubs have opened their card rooms in the city with both political and police support. “Club managements pay in lakhs every month to cops and politicians. Due to the police crackdown in the past, not just the club owners, but even the other parties involved had lost a lot of money. Recently, majority of the clubs re-opened card rooms with political support and doing brisk business,” MBT corporator Amjadullah Khan said.
The MBT leader has been very vocal about several clubs operating gambling dens in Saidabad and Champapet areas. In fact, he has listed out names of these clubs in the city where gambling is going on. The list includes Country Club, Celebrity Club, Chiran Fort, Family World clubs in Begumpet, G V R Club, Bowenpally, Greater Family Club, Lower Tank Bund, Derby Club, Balaji Sports Club in Kacheguda, Crystal Club in Mehdipatnam, S R Club in Saidabad Colony, Friends Club in Champapet, Fateh Maidan Club, Basheerbagh, Naini Hitech in Bowenpally, Epitome club in Habsiguda, Celebrity Club in Malakpet and B N Reddy Club in Champapet
“All these clubs are doing Rs 5 to 10 lakh worth business daily through gambling and other illegal activities. Three city-based Congress politicians are backing most of these clubs and police have remained silent by collecting bribes,” the corporator said.
When contacted, city police commissioner Anurag Sharma said that they will look into the allegations about illegal activities at the clubs. “We will look into the allegations and a stern action will be taken if it is found that illegal activities are taking place,” Anurag Sharma said.