March 1, 2012 / 3:17 PM / 6 years ago

Cyprus takes dozens of gambling seniors to court

NICOSIA, March 1 (Reuters) - Dozens of elderly Cypriot women have found themselves on the wrong side of the law after gambling at home, a practice banned on the east Mediterranean island.

More than 40 women, all aged over 60, were booked by police after a crack team found them playing a game locally known as “poker-ise”, a version of gin rummy at a private residence in 2009.

Two have since died, but 42 others have now received summons to appear in court this month, local media reported.

Cypriot authorities take a dim view of gambling, though its broadly acknowledged to be a popular pastime for many.

Online gambling, an industry with a local turnover of more than 1 billion euros a year, is now unregulated though lawmakers are set to introduce legislation in April.

Newspapers reported that the women, most of whom were over 75, had never set foot in a courtroom and had no intention of starting now.

“I‘m not going. They can do what they want,” the eldest of the group, 98-year-old Eftychia, told Kanali 6, a radio station in the coastal town of Limassol. (Reporting By Michele Kambas; Editing by Karolina Tagaris)

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