British bases police smash gambling equipment in Cyprus

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Authorities at a British military base in Cyprus used an excavator to smash tens of thousands of euros worth of illegal gambling equipment that were seized in police raids.

Bases Police Chief Mick Matthews says the equipment that included slot machines and professional-grade roulette, poker and blackjack tables were confiscated from two establishments inside bases territory following court convictions in seven separate court cases.

Gambling is illegal in two military bases that Britain retained after Cyprus gained independence from British colonial rule in 1960.

Although Cyprus is moving ahead with opening up a hotel casino resort in a bid to boost tourism, bases authorities say they have no intention of legalizing gambling and will continue to prosecute.

Matthews was speaking Monday at a recycling facility in Episkopi Garrison.