Businessman Cleared for His Role in Running Poker Games From Villa

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A 55-year-old Iranian businessman has been acquitted of running a gambling den that hosted high stakes poker games from his villa in Dubai. 

Citing lack of corroborated evidence, the Dubai Court of First Instance cleared the Iranian businessman of using his villa in a community known as The Springs as a gambling place.

The police had previously raided the villa and apprehended the Iranian businessman and nine others, none of whom were identified by name. 

Prosecutors had charged the 10 men of gambling for amounts that totalled Dh790,000.

Presiding judge Mohammad Jamal referred the 10 suspects to the Dubai Misdemeanours Court where the 10 suspects will be prosecuted for gambling. The Iranian will solely be tried also for possessing 83 types of alcoholic beverages.  Alcohol is illegal in Dubai. 

The Indian and one of the Russian suspects were accused of running the poker game and distributing the cards and chips.

According to the charge sheet, prosecutors said the suspects gambled for amounts varying between Dh50,000 and Dh150,000.

The case is reminiscent to a similar matter in the United States in 2014 where a Malaysian poker pro was accused of running a sports betting ring from his Las Vegas villa.

Paul Phua and his son, Darren, were ultimately vindicated in the matter.

FBI agents had dressed up as cable repairmen to gain access to Phua’s Las Vegas hotel suite after deliberately cutting off Internet access.

- Nagesh Rath,

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