Influential figures pressure Iraqi Interior Minister to halt casino crackdown

Influential figures pressure Iraqi Interior Minister to halt casino crackdown

Shafaq News/ Influential figures behind gambling establishments are exerting pressure on the Iraqi Interior Minister to halt the ongoing crackdown on casinos.

A source told Shafaq News Agency that "political parties are pressuring the Interior Minister to stop the campaign aimed at closing gambling halls and liquor-selling establishments, particularly in Al-Karrada area in Baghdad, driven by powerful figures in the gambling industry."

Simultaneously, Al-Karrada residents have erected banners urging the minister to continue the campaign and relocate liquor shops and private halls away from residential areas.

The Iraqi Ministry of Interior is conducting a large-scale operation to shut down unlicensed casinos and clubs, resulting in the closure of dozens of such venues in Baghdad.

In recent years, Baghdad has witnessed a surge in the number of unlicensed casinos, operating covertly in the city's underbelly.

These establishments, often hidden behind innocuous facades, cater to a growing clientele drawn by the allure of high-stakes gambling.

Despite stringent laws prohibiting such activities, the casinos have flourished, reflecting broader socio-economic challenges and regulatory gaps.

These unlicensed casinos operate with a high degree of secrecy to evade law enforcement. They are typically situated in inconspicuous locations, such as private residences or basements of commercial buildings. Security is tight, with entry often restricted to known patrons or those vouched for by regulars. Inside, patrons engage in a variety of gambling activities, from card games and roulette to sports betting.

The existence of these casinos poses significant challenges to Iraqi authorities. The legal framework in Iraq explicitly prohibits gambling, reflecting the broader cultural and religious ethos of the country.

The social impact is equally concerning. Gambling addiction is on the rise, leading to financial ruin for many families. The clandestine nature of these operations also means that patrons have little recourse in cases of fraud or disputes, further exacerbating the potential for exploitation.

Shafaq Live
Shafaq Live
Radio radio icon