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A CHINESE GAMBLING DEN.

At the City Police Court this morning, before Mr E. H. Carew, R.M., Yee Nuit and Fee Fook were charged with unlawfully being the keepers of a common gaming house situate at Stafford street. Mr F. R. Chapman appeared for both accused, who pleaded not guilty. Chief-detective Henderson conducted the prosecution, and furnished details of the visit yesterday afternoon of Detectives Walker and M'Grath, Sergeant Geerin, Constable Hanson, and himself to the house of accused. They entered a. room and saw what was described as a complete gamirg apparatus. The room possessed double doors, and could have been completely barricaded. He (Detective Henderson) saw a pak-a-pu board hanging from a nail on the wall. A couple of knives were also found, as were also a number of blank tickets, blocks for printing same, stamps, and a basket full of waste stamped paper. The aecused said they were managing the premises for a Chinaman named Mee Wah, while Yee Fook subsequently admitted that they paid LI 2s as rent to Sew Hoy. When he entered the room witness saw that there was a window commanding a view of the baok of the premises. A couple of jars and some bowls were aIBO found. The knives were placed on the table a few feet apart. They were usually used to keep off " bad SDirits," according to the Chinese religion. Various colored inks were also found, presumably in connection with the printing of the tickets. Witness recognised the tickets produced as pak-a-pu tickets. The jar was always used along with four basins, and the board on_ which the characters were pasted was used in connection with the game of pak-a-pu. The numbered tickets were displayed on the board before a drawing took place. The tiokets were torn off the board, placed in a jar, and then drawn out again, and a lesser number placed in a bowl. They are then drawn again, and the * numbers displayed. Ticketß similar to the ones produced could be obtained in the City. They were pak-a-pu tickets. The purchaser cancels ten numbers, and if the numbers cancelled corresponded with the numbers drawn in the last instance from the bowls the person would gain LBO. To Mr Chapman : The shop which witness entered was formerly Mee Wah's. The front doors were not locked, and merchandise and other articles were displayed in the shop. Yee Fook was lying down in an ordinary Chinese bunk, while Yee Nuie and others were standing in the front of the shop. The bowlß, iar, and inks produced could be used for other purposes. The dies perhaps could be used to sign cheques, but witness had never seen them in use in stores. The pak-a-pu tiokets produced were used in the game. Witness could not read the characters, but they were similar to those on pak-a-pu tickete. . ' *. ■ j Sergeant Geerin gave corroborative evidence? tad Chief-detective Henderson wA

that he would not call Detectives M'Orath and Walker, or Constable Hanson. That closed the case for the prosecution. Mr Chapman said that it would bo a most extraordinary thing if two men who were carrying on a business were convicted of being thG keepers of a gaming house simply because the articles which could be used in a game of chance weie found in another part of the building. According to the Act, it would have to be proved that the accused were conducting the house as a. gaming house—managing the house, as it were. That did not apply to the case of a common gaming house, where proof of play was required. The Act stated that when a house was entered into under the authority of a search warrant, all persons in the room—not the house, building, etc.—where gaming was being carried on could be charged. As to the evidence tendered, no unequivocal evidence had been adduced regarding the use. of the articles produced.' All the articles were jjsed iu the ordinary daily life of the Chinese, and the evidence only went to that the tickets, etc., were somewhat similar to those used in the game of pak-a-pu. In a case of alleged unlawful gaming at Home it was distinctly proved that the persons were regularly conducting a gaming house, and also that the house itself was a common gaming house, but the players were not convicted only the managers were fined. His Worship thought that there was a very strong case to answer. Mr Chapman said if that was the case he would call Ah Kee, who would prove that the articles were required by him for fortune telling. Ah Kee said he was a doctor, professional writer, and fortune-teller. The articles produced all belonged to his room for professional purposes. The knives were used for cutting papers and bake, whilo the board wa3 used for fortune telling. His Worship here cautioned witness.

Witness, continuing, said that anyone who requires employment, or wanted togo anywhere, and was not certain in his mind what to do or where to go, came to him and consulted him. They would pluck a character from the board, and from that he would tell them whether the Fates were propitious or otherwise. The paper produced was about heaver, and earth, sun and moon, mountains and sea. They were not pak-a-pu tickets, and were not connected with any game. Some of the numbered tickets were used in connection with the transmission of iiooda. To Detective Henderson: The name on the ticket was Kim Hoy. Witness did not know that a pak - a- pu bank was conducted under that name. Witnesß knew the game of pak-a-pu, but did not know who played the game. He knew nothing of drawings which were held at his establishment twice a day. YeeNuie and Yee Fook also gave evidence. His Worship said that he attached no importance, nor gave any credence, to the evidence for the defence. Ho considered the case proved. Mr Chapman : Might I ask your Worship to state a case ? His Worship: Yes, I will, when I am ready with my decision. In giving his decision Mr Carew said that each accused would be fined L2O, in default three months' imprisonment. He would state a case when the requisite formalities were gone through.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890516.2.23

Bibliographic details

A CHINESE GAMBLING DEN., Issue 7908, 16 May 1889

Word Count
1,044

A CHINESE GAMBLING DEN. Issue 7908, 16 May 1889

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