Dhaka,  Thursday
25 April 2024

Online gambling leaving thousands penniless

Imran Ali 

Published: 02:44, 23 February 2024

Online gambling leaving thousands penniless

Photo : Messenger

Abdur Rahman, a resident of the Banshree area of the capital, was a businessman by profession. However, he has fallen into the trap of a cricket betting gambling app and is now living with a small tea shop.

Like Rahman, at least a hundred people from Banshree have fallen into the gambling trap and lost everything. If a survey were conducted across the capital, it would likely reach several lakhs. The betting app gambling trap is not only city-centric but has spread all over the country. Not only is gambling focused on the game, but at least more than 50 sites are running round the clock with gambling activities. Common people are the most vulnerable to this gambling trap.

Recently, State Minister for Posts, Telecommunications, and Information Technology, Junaid Ahmed Palak, said that a class of people in the country is addicted to online gambling. Money is also being smuggled through these games. According to the list of BTRC officials, about 1,000 sites are currently under closure.

Nazmul Islam, a cyber specialist deputy commissioner of DMP's counter-terrorism unit, said, “We are working on it. Results will come soon. The intelligence department is working to arrest the gambling masterminds.”

Commander Khandaker Al Moin, director of RAB's law and media wing, said, “CID deals with money laundering. We are also monitoring. Efforts are being made to arrest this gang.”

According to sources, the buzzword in Bangladesh is cricket gambling. From cricket gambling to manual casino gambling, the trend has now spread from cities to villages. Some people bet on cricket gambling. This gambling or betting is done during various games, including BPL and IPL.

Bettors conduct gambling during BPL, IPL, World Cup, ODI, and even domestic and foreign Test matches. Many people, including school-college students, youth, and businessmen, are involved in the game. Even working people, who 'live day to day,' fall into this gambling trap and lose their hard-earned money.

At the same time, family and social unrest are gradually increasing due to gambling losses. This gambling or betting game is also done through various international websites. Popular cricket website Cricinfo also offers betting options. Two popular betting websites are Bet365 and Betway. Additionally, the most popular casino is Mega Casino World.

Cricket gambling involves various bets, including the team's win-loss, how many runs or six-fours will be scored in the next ball, whether the batsman will be out in the next over, how many wickets a bowler will get, how many runs the batsman will score, how many runs the team can score, and the margin of victory, etc. Betting rates are determined by the bettors themselves.

Betting or gambling usually revolves around the outcome of matches between two teams. In such cases, the favored team, with a higher chance of winning, has odds of two, while the weaker team has odds of one. For instance, consider a match between Australia and Bangladesh. The betting rate would be 1 for Bangladesh and 2 for Australia. Since Australia is the stronger team, a bettor would receive Tk 1000 more if they bet Tk 2000 on Australia. Conversely, if Bangladesh wins, the bettor would receive more than Tk 2000 for a Tk 1000 bet.

In other words, betting for Australia requires a minimum bet of Tk 2000, while betting against Bangladesh requires Tk 1000. This creates a ratio of 1:2 and 2:1. However, these rates often fluctuate.

Local bookies also offer odds like 2:3, 3:2, and 3:5, but these are rarely seen internationally. Most gamblers tend to bet on the weaker team in such scenarios because the investment is lower, and the potential profit is higher.

Currently, millions of people are addicted to online casinos, with Mega Casino World being the most popular. Through these gambling activities, crores of money are being smuggled out of the country, with some mobile banking institutions in our country aiding in this smuggling.

Additional DIG Kamrul Ahsan of the Cyber Police Center of CID said, "We observe daily transactions ranging from Tk 10 crore to Tk 15 crore on various sites. These transactions surge during events like IPL, BPL, and the World Cup, with cricket being the most popular betting sport. Gamblers are also showing increased interest in football leagues like La Liga and the Premier League.

Additionally, various shops, clubs, and hotels facilitate sitting betting, making it challenging to estimate the total transaction volume. However, an estimated Tk 1,000 crore to Tk 1,200 crore is laundered annually through online gambling. We are working tirelessly to prevent this.