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Tourism secy: Casinos will be built in Cox’s Bazar exclusive tourist zone

  • Published at 06:01 pm September 24th, 2019
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State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali and Secretary Md Mohibul Haque at a press briefing at the secretariat on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 PID

Locals will not be allowed in these establishments, once built, inside a exclusive tourist zone

Amid series of raids in illegal casinos in Dhaka and elsewhere, the civil aviation and tourism secretary has said that the government will set up attractive and modern arrangements including casinos at a proposed exclusive tourist zone in Cox’s Bazar.

But only foreign tourists will be allowed to enter these establishments by showing their passports and avail their facilities, not the locals, Secretary Md Mohibul Haque told reporters at the secretariat on Tuesday.

State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali was also present at the press conference, organized to brief the media on the World Tourism Day programs for September 27.

Mohibul said the casinos were needed for the foreign tourists. “Malaysia has casinos where tourists enter after showing their passports.”

"We are not providing such facilities to them [foreign tourists] at the moment. We will build an exclusive tourist zone where these facilities will be available for the foreigners,” he added.

In a major clampdown on illegal gambling activities, law enforcement agencies raided different sporting clubs across the country over the past week and busted a number of illegal casinos.

Apart from making several arrests, the security forces also seized huge amounts of money and gambling equipments from these casinos.

The tourism secretary called the casinos that were raided and seal at different sporting clubs “absolutely illegal.” “Casinos will be set up only for the foreigners.”

Asked, whether the government would build night clubs for foreign tourists like the ones in Bangkok, Mohibul said there were no problems to provide foreign tourists at the exclusive zone with facilities they also enjoy in other Muslim majority countries.

He said the government would also set up such zones in Khulna, Bagerhat and Satkhira, centring the Sundarbans and targeting foreign tourists.