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LAWS OF BRUNEI
COMMON GAMING HOUSES
3 of 1919
(Cap. 28 of 1951)
1984 Ed. Cap. 28
21 of 1967
4 of 1977
REVISED EDITION 2002
(15th April 2002)
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
4. Offences connected with gaming houses and lotteries.
5. Advancing money for gaming house or lottery.
6. Playing in a gaming house.
7. Gaming in public.
8. Instigating, promoting or facilitating gaming in public.
9. Buying a ticket.
10. Selling lottery tickets.
11. Money paid recoverable.
12. Sales of lottery tickets to be void.
13. Search warrant against premises.
14. Search warrant against persons.
15. Magistrate may himself enter and search.
16. Presumptive proof against house and occupier.
17. Presumptive proof against house occupier and owner.
18. Magistrate to make order for demolition of structural contrivancesfor facilitating gaming.
19. Protection of informers from discovery.
20. Examination of offenders.
22. Boys may be whipped.
23. Order for security.
24. Reward for informer.
26. Jurisdiction of Courts and Prosecution.
COMMON GAMING HOUSES ACT
An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to common gaming houses
Commencement: 1st January 1920
1. (1) This Act may be cited as the Common Gaming Houses Act.
2. In this Act unless the context otherwise requires —
“common gaming house” includes any place kept or used for gamingto which the public or any class of the public has or may have access and anyplace kept for habitual gaming whether the public or any class of the public hasor may have access thereto or not and any place kept or used for the purpose ofa public lottery;
“lottery” includes any game, method or device whereby money or money’s worth is distributed or allotted in any manner dependingupon or to be determined by chance or lot whether the same be held drawnexercised or managed within or outside Brunei Darussalam;
“lottery ticket” includes any paper, figure, writing, symbol orother article whatsoever which either expressly or tacitly entitles or purportsto entitle the holder or any other person to receive any money or money’sworth on the happening of any event or contingency connected with any publiclottery;
“place” means any house, office, room or building and any placeor spot whether open or enclosed and includes a ship, boat or other vesselwhether afloat or not and any vehicle;
“public lottery” means a lottery to which the public or any classof the public has or may have access and every lottery shall until the contrarybe proved be deemed to be a public lottery; and
“a Senior Police Officer” means any police officer not below therank of Assistant Superintendent and includes any police officer by name oroffice specially authorised by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan bynotification in the Gazette to exercise the powers of a Senior PoliceOfficer under this Act.
(2) A place in which lottery tickets are sold or distributed shall bedeemed to be used for the purpose of a public lottery.
(3) A place shall be deemed to be used for a purpose if it is used for thatpurpose even on one occasion only.
(4) Every person who demises or lets to hire a place shall be deemed theowner thereof.
(5) The expression “instruments or appliances for gaming”includes all articles which are used in or for the purpose of gaming or alottery.
3. Every common gaming house is hereby declared to be a common andpublic nuisance contrary to law.
Offences connected with gaming houses and lotteries.
4. Any person who —
(a) being the owner or occupier or having the use temporarily orotherwise thereof keeps or uses a place as a common gaming house; or
(b) permits a place of which he is owner or occupier or of which hehas the use temporarily or otherwise to be kept or used by another person as acommon gaming house; or
(c) has the care or management of or in any manner assists in themanagement of a place kept or used as a common gaming house or assists incarrying on a public lottery; or
(d) receives directly or indirectly any money or money’s worthfor or in respect of any chance in or event or contingency connected with apublic lottery or sells or offers for sale or gives or delivers any lotteryticket; or
(e) draws, throws, declares or exhibits expressly or otherwise thewinner or winning number ticket, lot, figure, design, symbol or other result ofany public lottery; or
(f) writes, prints or publishes, or causes to be written, printed orpublished, any lottery ticket or list of prizes or any announcement of theresult of a public lottery or any announcement or riddle relating to a publiclottery; or
(g) announces, publishes or causes to be announced orpublished, either orally or by means of any print, writing, design, sign orotherwise that any place is opened, kept or used as a common gaming house or inany other manner invites or solicits any person to commit a breach of section 6or 9,
shall be guilty of an offence: Penalty, a fine of $20,000 and imprisonment for 12 months.
Advancing money for gaming house or lottery.
5. Any person who advances or furnishes money for the purpose ofestablishing or conducting the business of a common gaming house or for thepurpose of a public lottery or who profits from the establishment or conduct ofsuch business shall be guilty of an offence: Penalty, imprisonment for 12 monthsand a fine of $20,000.
Playing in a gaming house.
6. (1) Any person who plays in a common gaming house shall be guiltyof an offence: Penalty, a fine of $10,000 and imprisonment for 6 months.
(2) A person found in a common gaming house or found escaping therefrom onthe occasion of its being entered under this Act shall be presumeduntil the contrary is proved to be or to have been playing therein.
Gaming in public.
7. (1) A police officer may arrest without warrant any person foundgaming in any public place and may seize all instruments or appliances forgaming found in such public place or on the persons of those arrested under thissection.
(2) Any person gaming in any public place shall be guilty of an offence:Penalty, a fine of $10,000, and imprisonment for 6 months; and all instruments or appliances for gaming seized under this section may be declared bythe Court before which the conviction is had to be forfeited to the Governmentand shall be dealt with accordingly.
(3) Where any money or other valuable thing is used in the playing of anygame of chance or of mixed chance and skill in any public place, the playersshall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, to be or to have beengaming.
(4) In this section the expression “public place” includes public streets, roadways, lanes, and open spaces, and any place towhich the public has or may have access.
Instigating, promoting or facilitating gaming in public.
8. (1) Any person who instigates, promotes or intentionallyfacilitates the commission of an offence punishable under the last precedingsection shall be guilty of an offence: Penalty, imprisonment for 6 months and afine of $10,000.
(2) Any person who —
(a) erects, maintains, or controls, or assists to erect, maintain,or control, any hut, shed, tent, or other building or shelter whatsoever whereinan offence punishable under the last preceding section is committed; or
(b) brings to, or has in his possession at or near, a place wheresuch an offence as aforesaid is committed any instrument or appliance forgaming; or
(c) keeps watch in order to warn, or warns, persons committing such an offence as aforesaid of risk of detection, shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, to have promoted the commission of an offence punishable under the last preceding section.
(3) A person shall not by reason only of the fact that he hascommitted an offence punishable under the last preceding section be liable to beconvicted of an offence under this section.
Buying a ticket.
9. (1) Any person who either personally or by an agent pays ordeposits any money or money’s worth to or with any person concerned in thebusiness of a common gaming house as a stake or for or in respect of any eventor contingency connected with a public lottery or buys a lottery ticket shall beguilty of an offence: Penalty, a fine of $2,000.
(2) A person in whose possession a lottery ticket is found shall bepresumed until the contrary is proved to have bought the same.
(3) Every lottery ticket brought or introduced into or being within BruneiDarussalam shall be forfeited to the Government and it shall be the duty ofevery police officer or other public servant to seize every such ticket whereverfound.
Selling lottery tickets.
10. A person selling, offering for sale, giving, delivering orcollecting lottery tickets or found in possession of 10 or more lottery tickets or counterfoils or duplicates of lottery tickets or of anyaccount, memorandum, riddle or record of stakes or wagers in or relating to alottery shall be presumed until the contrary is proved to be assisting in apublic lottery then in progress.
Money paid recoverable.
11. Any money or money’s worth paid or deposited for or inrespect of any such event or contingency as aforesaid or for or in respect of the purchase of a lottery ticket shall be recoverable as money hadand received to or for the use of the person from whom the same wasreceived.
Sales of lottery tickets to be void.
12. Every sale or contract for sale of a lottery ticket is herebydeclared to be void and no action shall be maintainable by any person in respectof any such sale or contract except by a purchaser for the return of the moneyor other consideration (if any) paid thereon.
Search warrant against premises.
13. (1) A magistrate or a Senior Police Officer on being satisfiedupon written information on oath and after any further inquiry which he maythink necessary that there is good reason to believe that any place is kept orused as a common gaming house may by warrant authorise any person therein named or any police officer with such assistance and by such force asmay be necessary by night or by day to enter or go to such place and to searchthe same and all persons found therein and to seize all instruments orappliances for gaming and all money, securities for money and other articlesreasonably supposed to have been used or intended to be used for any game orlottery which may be found in such place or on any such persons, and also todetain all such persons until they and the said place shall have been searched.If any of the things or circumstances which are made by this Act presumptiveevidence of guilt are found therein they shall be taken before a magistrate tobe dealt with according to law.
(2) All instruments or appliances for gaming, money, securities for moneyand other articles found in a common gaming house or on any persons foundtherein or escaping therefrom and which the magistrate is of opinion were usedor intended to be used for any gaming or lottery shall be declared by him to beforfeited to the Government and shall be dealt with accordingly.
Search warrant against persons.
14. A magistrate or a Senior Police Officer on being satisfied upon information on oath and after any further inquiry which he may think necessary that there is good reason to believe that any instruments or appliances for gaming are likely to be found on any person mayby warrant under his hand order any person therein named or any police officerto arrest such person and to take him forthwith before a magistrate who shall thereupon cause such person to be searched in his presence and if anysuch instrument or appliance be found upon his person he shall be taken before amagistrate to be dealt with according to law.
Magistrate may himself enter and search.
15. (1) A magistrate or a Senior Police Officer may himself do whathe may under sections 13 and 14 authorise a police officer to do whenever suchmagistrate is competent to issue a warrant under such sections respectively; andalso in any of the following cases, that is to say —
(a) if any person has within the preceding 6 months beenconvicted of having kept or used as a common gaming house the place proposed tobe entered; or
(b) if the place proposed to be entered is occupied by a club orsociety and he has reason to believe that habitual gaming is carried on there;or
(c) if he has personal knowledge of such facts andcircumstances as satisfy him that there are sufficient grounds for a searchunder the said sections respectively; or
(d) if he receives the required information orally and either onoath or not on oath under such circumstances that the object of a search wouldin his opinion be defeated by the delay necessary for reducing the informationto writing; provided that in the last case the name and address of the persongiving such information is known to or ascertained by such magistrate before he acts upon such information.
(2) Any person who in giving such oral information makes a statementwhich he knows or believes to be false or does not believe to be true shall beguilty of an Offence: Penalty, imprisonment for 12 months.
Presumptive proof against house and occupier.
16. If any instruments or appliances for gaming are found in any placeentered under this Act or upon any person found therein, or if persons are seenor heard to escape therefrom on the approach or entry of a magistrate or aSenior Police Officer, or if a police officer or any person having authorityunder this Act to enter or go to such place is unlawfully prevented from orobstructed or delayed in entering or approaching the same or any partthereof, it shall be presumed until the contrary is proved that the place is acommon gaming house and that the same is so kept or used by the occupierthereof.
Presumptive proof against house occupier and owner.
17. (1) If in the case of a place entered under this Act anypassage, staircase or means of access to any part thereof is unusually narrow orsteep or otherwise difficult to pass, or any part of the premises is providedwith unusual or unusually numerous means for preventing or obstructing an entryor with unusual contrivances for enabling persons therein to see or ascertainthe approach or entry of persons or for giving the alarm or for facilitatingescape from the premises, it shall be presumed until the contrary is proved thatthe place is a common gaming house and that the same is so kept or used by theoccupier thereof; and if notice as is next hereinafter provided shall have beenserved on the owner of the premises it shall further be presumed till thecontrary is proved that the place is so kept with the permission of the ownerthereof.
Commissioner of Police to give notice to owner.
(2) If it comes to the knowledge of the Commissioner of Police that any place is fitted or provided with any of the means or contrivancesmentioned in this section in such a way as to lead to a presumption that theplace is used or intended to be used for the purposes of a common gaming houseit shall be the duty of such Commissioner of Police to cause notice thereof tobe served on the owner of such place as well as on the occupier thereof; and ifthe owner is not otherwise known, service shall be made on the person or personsnamed in the Assessment Register or District Land Register as the owners oroccupiers of such place; and if the names of the owners and occupiers or ownersor occupiers are not inscribed in such books, the notice may be served by beingaffixed to the principal outer door or any outer door or window or anyconspicuous part of the place.
Sub-tenant to inform lessor.
(3) Every sub-tenant receiving a notice under this section shallforthwith inform the owner or the person from whom he rents the premises of thefact of receipt of such notice who shall in like manner inform the owner or theperson from whom he rents the premises and so on till the notice is brought tothe knowledge of his immediate lessor; and any sub- tenant refusing or omittingto make known to the owner or the person from whom he rents the premises thefact that such notice has been received shall be guilty of an offence: Penalty,a fine of $10,000.
Magistrate to make order for demolition of structural contrivances forfacilitating gaming.
18. If it appears to a magistrate upon the trial of any offence underthis Act that the place in or in respect of which the offence is alleged to havebeen committed is a common gaming house and that the same is fitted or providedwith any of the means or contrivances mentioned in section 17, he shall orderthe demolition and destruction of such of them as consist of staircases, doorsand partitions, ladders, planks, platforms, posts, palings, bars, bolts andother things which appear to him to have been specially erected or constructedfor the purpose of facilitating the carrying on of gaming on the premises.
Protection of informers from discovery.
19. Except as hereinafter mentioned no information laid under this Actshall be admitted in evidence in any civil or criminal proceeding whatsoever andno witness shall be obliged or permitted to disclose the name or address of anyinformer under this Act or state any matter which might lead to his discovery,and if any books, documents or papers which are in evidence or liable toinspection in any civil or criminal proceedings whatsoever contain any entry inwhich any informer is named or described or which might lead to his discovery,the Court or magistrate shall cause all such passages to be concealed from theview or to be obliterated so far as may be necessary to protect the informerfrom discovery but no further:
Provided that if on the trial of any offence under this Act the magistrateafter full inquiry into the case believes that the informer wilfully made in hisinformation a material statement which he knew or believed to be false or didnot believe to be true, or if in any other proceeding the Court or magistrate isof opinion that justice cannot be fully done between the parties thereto withoutthe discovery of the informer, it shall be lawful for the Court or magistrate torequire the production of the original information and permit inquiry andrequire full disclosure concerning the informer.
Examination of offenders.
20. When 2 or more persons are charged with any offence against this Act the magistrate may require one or more of them to give evidence as a witness or witnesses for the prosecution, and any such person who refuses to be sworn or to answer any lawful question shall be dealt with in the same manner as witnesses so refusing may by law be dealt with by a magistrate. Every person so required to give evidence who in the opinion of the magistrate makes true and full discovery of all things as to which he is lawfully examined shall be entitled to receive a certificate of indemnity under the hand of the magistrate stating that he has made a true and full discovery of all things as to which he was examined and such certificate shall be a bar to all legal proceedings against him in respect of all such things as aforesaid:
Provided that any person charged with an offence against this Act may, if hethinks fit, tender himself to be examined on his own behalf, and thereupon may give evidence in the same manner and with the like effect andconsequences as any other witness.
21. If at any time it appears to His Majesty in Council that anyperson is a professional gambler or is engaged in the promotion of public gaminghe may issue an order under the Banishment Act (Chapter 20) for thebanishment of such person from Brunei Darussalam.
Boys may be whipped.
22. Any male person appearing to be of such tender years as to requirepunishment rather in the way of school discipline than of ordinary criminaljustice convicted of an offence under this Act may in lieu of any otherpunishment hereby provided be sentenced to corporal punishment with a lightrattan or cane not exceeding 10 strokes on the bare buttocks.
Order for security.
23. If a person who has been convicted of an offence under section 4is again convicted of the same offence under that section, the Court of aMagistrate may, in addition to the punishment provided by that section, make anorder requiring him to give security for a period not exceeding one year by oneor more sureties that he will not offend against this Act and every such ordershall be made as nearly as may be in the same manner and shall have the likeeffect and consequences as if the same were an order to give security for goodbehaviour under Chapter VII of the Criminal Procedure Code (Chapter 7).
Reward for informer.
24. The magistrate may direct any fine or any portion of any fineimposed under this Act to be paid to the informer.
25. His Majesty in Council may by written order exempt any house orgroup of houses or locality from the provisions of this Act.
Jurisdiction of Courts and Prosecution. [S 51/00]
26. The Court of a Magistrate shall have jurisdiction to hearand determine all proceedings under this Act and, notwithstanding any provisionof any written law to the contrary, such Court shall have power to impose anypenalty or combination of penalties provided for an offence under this Act notexceeding respectively 12 months imprisonment and a fine of $20,000.