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Minister: Casino is a form of gambling, will not legalize it by enacting laws

  • Published at 02:04 am September 25th, 2019
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal
File photo of Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

'In our country, any form of gambling is illegal, and it is not acceptable in any way'

Terming casinos as another form of gambling, Finance Minister A H M Mustafa Kamal has said it cannot be made legal by enacting laws. 

The minister made the statement while replying to reporters after attending a program, "Road Safety for All," at the Hotel Intercontinental in Dhaka on Tuesday afternoon.

When inquired about a statement made by the Secretary of Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry Mohibul Haque about the necessity and possibility of opening casinos in tourist spots to attract foreigners, the minister said: "Casino might be opened abroad. They have laws for running these. But in our country the casino is gambling. 

"In our country, any form of gambling is illegal, and it is not acceptable in any way." 

An illegal activity can never be made legitimate by enacting laws, he added. 

Replying to another question, the minister said action will be taken against people whose bank accounts were found to be connected with the casino business. 

He said action following traditional laws will be taken if the accused failed to prove earnings to be legal. 

National Board of Revenue (NBR) cannot confiscate money directly. NBR will first issue a letter to the accused to prove himself. Action will be taken accordingly, he explained. 

If the accused can prove their earnings to be legal, they have to pay tax on it, he added.

Asked why financial monitoring institutions like NBR and Bangladesh Bank are not able to find these out and take appropriate action, Kamal said: "There is nothing that the administration does not know about."

Someone inside the authorities, in some manner, might have been involved, he added.

“Authorities concerned cannot avoid their responsibilities in this incident,” the minister furthered.

He said the NBR will look into how casino and gambling supplies made their way into Bangladesh.

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