Since the corona, the casinos in the Netherlands and Belgium have been closed. As a result, more and more illegal gambling is taking place.
One example is in The Hague this week. In a not very conspicuous takeaway in the center of The Hague, an illegal gambling den was busted this month. The eatery on the Paviljoensgracht, like so many businesses in corona time, looks deserted. The doors are closed and the lights are out. Unlike other restaurants that are still open for take-out and delivery, there is no activity to be seen. According to a local resident, nothing happened at all during the past week.
Last Friday it was the same story again. Around midnight 23 people were gambling in a restaurant on the Boerenstraat in The Hague. A weekend earlier, thirty people with playing cards and pokerchips were found between the poker tables in a business premises on the Rijswijkse Veraartlaan.
Neighbors often call in the police
The casino premises come to light partly because of reports from local residents. Sometimes these are reports of noise pollution, which is not surprising with twenty men in an upstairs apartment. In other cases neighbors notice that a lot of people come to a house where a single person lives.
Yet the willingness to report is not very high. In this part of The Hague there is more turnover of residents than in other places in the city. As a result, people do not always know who they have living next door or above them. Some of them also don’t like talking to the police. But from a competitive point of view we do get anonymous reports.”
What the officers find during a raid varies. Poker is still very popular, but other card games such as blackjack are also played.