Around 120 police raided an illegal casino in the British Sovereign Base Area (SBA) on the island of Cyprus early Monday morning, the third time the casino in the village of Trachoni had been raided in the past couple years.
In Cyprus reported that police arrested the casino’s 27-year-old manager along with a bouncer while seizing seven blackjack tables, two poker tables, six roulette wheels, five slot machines, over three dozen computers, the casino’s elaborate video surveillance gear and around €5,500 in cash. Police also confiscated some less traditional casino fixtures, such as a Harley Davidson motorcycle that police claim is worth around €50k, suggesting its forks are platinum-plated or the fuel tank is adorned with original artwork by Picasso.
Police also reported seizing “a large amount” of an unidentified substance they believe to be cocaine with an estimated street value of €30k. A third individual was subsequently arrested after police found traces of said suspected cocaine and a marijuana grinder in the car he’d left in the casino’s parking lot. SBA Police Superintendent George Kiteos said his force would continue to work closely with Cyprus Police to target illegal gambling establishments and prosecute gambling evildoers.
The Greek portion of the island has only recently announced plans to build its first state-sanctioned gambling joint and therefore frowns upon any operators who seem to be drinking the state’s milkshake. The Turkish-controlled area of Cyprus is more forgiving regarding casino operation and Greek Cypriots spend an annual €6m gambling at casinos in the northern half of the island.
Meanwhile, a Manchester-based company is looking to ensure that Cyprus casinos don’t lack for trained staff when they do finally open their doors. Cerus Casino Academy Cyprus has been advertising its croupier-training program to Cypriots via Facebook and a local branch officer told the Cyprus Mail that its graduates would have a leg up on other would-be applicants when the hiring notices are issued. Local police said such training wasn’t illegal provided none of it took place within Cyprus.