Bangladeshi court rules gambling illegal

by Noah Taylor Last Updated
Bangladeshi court rules gambling illegal

A court in Bangladesh has declared gambling illegal and asked authorities to take measures to stop the practice across the country.

The Australian reports that a two-man panel of judges at the High Court passed the order following a petition filed by two Supreme Court lawyers in 2016 seeking a complete ban on gambling across Bangladesh.

This would be in line with a constitutional provision that stipulates “the state shall adopt measures to prevent prostitution and gambling.”

Lawyer Redwan Ahmed Ranjib said the court also asked the government to enhance punishment for gambling, amending the British-era anti-betting law.

It directed law enforcement agencies to confiscate equipment presently being used for gambling in clubs, where limited gambling was permitted with the permission of local authorities.

Offences under the Public Gambling Act of 1867 are punishable with a maximum of three months imprisonment and a financial penalty of 200 taka (A$3.51).

The court’s order comes nearly five months after enforcement agencies shut several casinos which were being run illegally on the premises of five football clubs in Dhaka.

Gambling operators comply with new Cambodian laws

Cambodia’s casinos are observing the country’s newly implemented online gambling ban, according to government officials.

Calvin Ayre reports that last Wednesday, the Ministry of Finance official Ros Phearun said all of its 91 casinos that had been offering online gambling had ceased those operations on January 1, in accordance with the directive issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen in August.

Phearun said a joint committee consisting of government officials, police officers and military police had conducted inspections of all 91 casinos since the online gambling licence revocation took effect.

These inspections will continue for the foreseeable future to ensure that no casinos attempt to restart their online offering once the media focus shifts.

Phearun said there are now 118 licensed casinos in Cambodia, a significant reduction from the day before Christmas, when there were 141 casinos.

Around 70 casinos were based in Preah Sihanouk province, but by December 31, Phearun told Reuters that there were now only 36.

Yov Khemara, director of Preah Sihanouk’s labour department said that 33 local casinos have suspended their operations following Hun Sen’s August directive and another 22 casinos had shut down completely.

Countrywide, around 7,000 individuals are believed to have lost their jobs after news of the online gambling ban circulated.

Those lots jobs pale in comparison to the 447,676 Chinese nations that Cambodia’s General Department of Immigration claim left the country following August’s online gambling directive.

In September, Chinese officials had dismissed claims of an exodus, saying the number of ex-pats fleeing was around 5000.

Phearun said this week that some of the casinos that were still open were taking a wait-and-see approach for “one or two months to see if they can make earnings” without online gambling revenue.

Phearun doesn’t hold out hope that many of these shaky operations will make it, saying the government “believe that more casinos will cease their businesses.”

Locals to pay more to enter Singapore casinos

The Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Social and Family Development in Singapore announced in a joint statement that Singapore citizens and permanent residents will now have to pay SGD $150 every day to visit any of the two integrated casino resorts in the country, in April last year.

Earlier the levy to enter a casino resort for one day was SGD $100. The annual levy has also been increased by 50 per cent, Casino Buzz reported.

Those who now want to have a yearly pass to enter the integrated resorts will have to shell out SGD $3,000. Earlier it was SGD $2,000 for locals.

The increase for entering gambling facilities has come as the Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa, the two popular Singapore casino resorts, are planning to increase $9 billion in non-gaming activities.

These steps are part of a plan to keep locals away from gambling activities and the government has reassured citizens that problem gambling in Singapore is under control.

Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry, said the government is already paying attention and active towards any potential negative impact of gambling.

“Although problem gambling has not worsened since the introduction of integrated resorts, we are nevertheless wary of the dangers posed by gambling, in particular, online gambling, which has become an increasingly serious threat,” he said.

“To further limit the social impact of problem gambling on our local population, Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) have agreed to work with MSF to study how to help casino patrons make more informed decisions on their level of play,” Chun added.

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