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Defense Lawyers Reiterates Innocence of 23 Individuals Accuse of Illegal Slots

Defense lawyers for twenty three individuals accused of managing illegal slot machine gaming told the court on July 7th, 2009 that the machines had been allowed by 4 different governing bodies. The employees went before the Criminal Court of Appeals, accused of managing gaming machines at hotel facilities across the capital. The public prosecutors say that all are guilty of illegal gaming.

The defense side, led by Saoud Abdul Aziz, stated that the twenty-one accused individuals-including 4 people from the Emirate, 5 Indians, 2 Filipinos, 2 Filipinas and other Arab nationalities did nothing illegal. He said that machines, which are located in hotels owned by twelve different companies, had been approved by the Abu Dhabi Municipality, the Chamber of Commerce, the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and the police department.

As gaming for money is not allowed, players would pay to play the games and would receive food and beverage coupons if they won. The companies were operating in the Arcadia, Dana, Howard Johnson and Regency Hotels. None of the owners of the company has been charged. Mr. Aziz said that the Abu Dhabi Police would inspect the facility 4 times a year to check if they are operating within the laws and every time the police officers had no objection to their presence.

Aziz added that they cannot permit these companies to operate, give them business permits and tax them like what the Tourism Authority is doing and then punish their workers all of a sudden. The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority said that licenses for gaming machines are processed by the Abu Dhabi Police and the Department of Economy and Planning.


Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Caroline Mitchell