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Bermuda Police Confiscate Gaming Machines in Multiple Raids

28 October 2002

BERMUDA -- As reported by the Royal Gazette: ``Customs and Police officers yesterday swooped on six gambling haunts in a sting operation over the suspected importation of illegal spare parts for gaming machines.

``At noon yesterday, about 70 officers from the two agencies visited a variety of different premises and began the arduous task of pawing through the machines in a bid to discover whether they had been fitted with new parts that were allowed into the Island on the understanding that they were for video machines.

``The Royal Gazette understands that the suspicious shipments of parts, along with the mushrooming of gaming machines in and around the City of Hamilton, led Police and Customs to believe machines were being repaired and upgraded illegally.

``…The issue concerning Customs and Police is not the fact that gambling was allowed in these places, but simply whether new spare parts have been installed into the machines.

``Under the Gaming Act of last year, those premises that own gambling machines are allowed to continue to operate them, but not allowed to repair or replace them.

``The principle behind the law was that, as more and more machines were consigned to the scrap heap due to technical failure, gambling on the Island would gradually die out…"

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