• Sunday, Feb 23, 2020
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HC declares gambling illegal across Bangladesh

  • Published at 03:03 pm February 10th, 2020
File photo: Law enforcing forces raided Mohammedan Sporting Club on 22nd September and confiscated gambling materials in the club premise Syed Zakir Hossain

Last year, the government launched a crackdown on illegal casinos across Bangladesh

The High Court has declared gambling illegal at 13 clubs in five districts and other areas across the country.

The bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Md Mahmud Hassan Talukder delivered the verdict opn Monday, after disposing of a rule issued in this regard.

The clubs are Dhaka Club, Uttara Club, Gulshan Club, Dhanmondi Club, Banani Club, Officers' Club, Dhaka Ladies' Club, Cadet College Club, Chittagong Club, Chittagong Seniors' Club, Narayanganj Club, Sylhet Club and Khulna Club.

The court also ordered law enforcement agencies to seize gambling equipment if found anywhere in the country.

In 2016, two Supreme Court lawyers had filed a petition seeking the High Court's order to stop gambling at these 13 social clubs.

The petition — citing the DMP Ordinance 1976, Chittagong Metropolitan Police Ordinance 1978 and Public Gambling Act 1867 — said that any kind of gambling is illegal. But these clubs arrange gambling for their members and They even put related information on their websites.

Hearing the petition, the High Court on December 4, 2016 ordered to stop card and dice games, as well as housie, involving money at the clubs.

The court also issued a rule asking the authorities concerned why directions should not be given to take actions against unlawful businesses and indoor games — mainly cards, dice and housie — playing in exchange of money, wager, stake or any other benefits.

Dhaka Club authorities later moved the Appellate Division and secured a freeze on the interim order. The top court had also stayed that order until the disposal of the rule.

On January 23, the High Court had concluded the hearing on the rule and kept its verdict pending.

In September last year, the government had launched a crackdown on illegal casinos and gambling across the country.

For the next two months, law enforcement agencies conducted around 50 raids across the country, during which nearly 300 people were arrested for their alleged involvement.

They included several leaders and activists of Awami League and its affiliated organizations, local city corporation councilors, contractors, businesspersons, etc.