Lahore’s Gambling Dens

The directions were vague: drive into Shahnoor, a cluttered corner of Lahore named after a movie studio, where the narrow streets are filled with carts loaded with bananas and motorised rickshaws, then telephone again for more information. After 30 stop-start minutes of 11-point turns we reached our destination. It looked like a half-constructed shopfront. Inside was bare concrete, with two white plastic chairs for visitors.

There I met PK, one of Lahore’s bookmakers. After 20 minutes of stilted chitchat – during which time he was presumably screening me – he led me to the back of the building, where we climbed through a hole in the wall, went up a flight of stairs and arrived at his illegal gambling den just in time for the start of the fourth England-Pakistan one day cricket international…. read more


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