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Bangladesh - International - Technology - April 20, 2024

Online gambling can’t bring under control

Online gambling has spread like an epidemic
-BTRC’s tactics are not working
-Control almost impossible, say law enforcement
-Experts say, there is no substitute for public awareness

Mahfuz Emran: He became a millionaire by investing only Tk 20. Later he got addicted and invested one after another. However, Love’s face was never seen again. On the contrary, there was a loss of Tk 6 to Tk 7 lakh. This is the life story of a software engineer who lost everything due to online gambling addiction.
Not only him, the number of people who have become destitute due to gambling addiction is not less. The software engineer from the capital, Dhaka, said on condition of anonymity that he completed his studies from a renowned institution in the country. After that, I started working as a representative of Bangladesh in a foreign company with a high salary. Suddenly the topic of online gambling came up through a friend. Out of curiosity I also tried several times experimentally. After playing with only Tk 20, I got Tk 1 lakh 20 thousand at once.
“The whole thing seemed like a dream to me. Gradually invest more money there. At one point I became seriously addicted. Most of the gambling was done at night. As a result, I fell behind in my office activities. At one point I drifted away from normal life. At the same time money also started to lose. The job is gone. In total, I lost Tk 6 to 7 lakh. But I could not get out of this addiction. Later with the help of family members I can come out with much difficulty. However, I still have to carry that loss.”
The information he later gave to Daily Industry was truly horrifying said, “Online gambling has spread like an epidemic in the country. Many people, including educated and uneducated, young and old, are spending time and money on it. At some point they become destitute like me. The number of gamblers is increasing day by day. As a result, a dire situation is being created.”
Why online gambling is spreading like an epidemic – the people concerned say that this huge criminal empire has been built online by exploiting the negative opportunities of free information technology. Tempting offers are being offered every step of the way. Which are basically money grabbing traps. By stepping into that trap, not only money, but also moral slippage is happening to many people. Despite showing strictness many times, due to various loopholes and the activities of some dishonest people, the controlling agencies and related parties have to accept the silent defeat at the end. As a result, online gambling, betting and casinos are spreading rapidly.
It is known that various measures have been taken repeatedly by the law enforcement agencies to protect the young generation of the country from this evil. However, the face of success was not seen in the end. Despite being shut down, various gambling and betting platforms are opening up again online. Due to the strictness of law-and-order forces, the organizers of these activities are very careful. Now these things are not being spread like before. The principals remain hidden. They are conducting their activities very comfortably from abroad. On the other hand, their agents in the country are cooperating effectively. In return, they (domestic agents) own a large sum of money. Almost 100% of these transactions are done through mobile banking.
According to the research, most gambling or betting sites are being presented to people through various videos of attractive offers and boosted advertisements on various social media including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube. Apps or websites can be found with a single click on these sites without realizing it. There are strategies being adopted to attract members in the beginning. People are stepping into this dark world with the greed of becoming a millionaire with little money or double profit. They once got greedy and invested extra money. That’s when the true form comes out. Huge sums of money are lost instantly on gambling boards. All these famous websites suddenly disappear after getting lost in greed and addiction. Financial, emotional and physical damage begins. Dhaka Post’s investigation revealed the plight of some affected people.
Casino and betting websites are easily found in the country
Although betting, casino or gambling is prohibited in the country, it is very easy to join many betting and casino websites including X Bet, Jetwin Bangladesh, MyJet, Crix, Baji 365 Casino (names of other betting and casino websites are intentionally hidden). Slots, e-games, table games, card games, video poker and live casino are being played by depositing money on these sites.
By investigating the various activities of Jetwin, it can be seen that the opportunity to participate in these activities has been kept by depositing a minimum of Tk 200. Money can be transacted through various mobile banking. Not only the website, these apps are also available in Playstore. Those who deposit money permanently always participate in betting, casino or other activities through apps.
How young people getting involved
In most cases unemployed, poor, less educated and backward people are attracted to these online gambling games. Mainly through native agents they come this way. Educated and rising youth in urban areas are also getting involved through online campaigns. This reporter spoke to someone who got involved in these activities and returned after financial loss.
On the condition of anonymity, he said, “I was staying at home during the corona virus. At that time, I first came to know about online gambling from a friend in the area. Though not interested in the beginning, I gradually became attracted after hearing the stories of profits. After talking about online coaching from home, I invested Tk 5,000 first. Every day I got five spins there. Apart from this, additional money had to be paid to participate in other games. All transactions were done through mobile banking. There would be both profit and loss. At one point I became addicted. Suddenly one day I saw that the website was not there. Faced with huge financial losses. After a lot of trouble, I managed this. However, I could not get out of that habit of gambling.”
He also said, after recovering from the loss, I sold my mobile phone, laptop.
There have been murders and suicides to collect gambling money
In February this year, an agent of BKash was killed in Rajbari’s Kalukhali. It is known that Bikash’s agent Sharif Khan was hacked to death in the hope of getting cash after losing an online gambling game. Alleged involvement. An online gambler named Tariqul Islam (20) was arrested by the police.
Suman Kumar Saha, Assistant Superintendent of Police of Pangsha Circle, said that local development agent and grocer Sharif Khan was hacked to death at 11 pm on February 21. Accused involved with it. Tariqul Islam was arrested.
The accused said that the deceased Sharif Khan and he (Tarikul Islam) were shopkeepers of the same market. He is addicted to online gambling. He had a plan to kill Bkash’s agent Sharif Khan and grab the cash as he had lost a lot of money in online gambling. He was hacked to death as planned.
On the other hand, small screen actress Humaira Himu committed suicide on November 3 last year. Later RAB said that online gambling was the reason behind that suicide. Actress Humaira Himu used to gamble online through an app called Bigo Live. In the past three years, he has made a huge amount of money in gambling. Later Himu took money from his friend Mohammad Ziauddin Rufi alias Urfi Zia as he fell into financial crisis. The last time Ziauddin came to Himu’shouse, he committed suicide during an argument over these issues. Himu’s friend Ziauddin was arrested in that incident.
Controlling gambling websites ‘almost impossible’: Cyber police
Law enforcement agencies are finding it ‘highly impossible’ to control gambling websites in the current information technology era. Police Superintendent of City Cyber Crime Investigation Division of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Rezaul Karim said, these issues are boundary less crime. Which has no specific limit. Websites are created in one country, operated in another country and transacted in another country. These are organized crimes. To be honest, it is not possible to control them that way. Apart from this, earlier transactions were done on international gateways based on gambling. Now transactions are being done through various domestic mobile banking. The registration of related apps has also been made very easy. That is why online gambling has reached the extreme level.
“To control this money transactions should be strictly monitored. In this case, only the concerned operators can stop these activities. If they monitor the transactions of specific agents or fixed numbers, they can detect unusual cash-in, cash-out or money transactions. If they try, online gambling will be 50 percent off.”
How can it be prevented? In this context, he said, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Agency (BTRC) has to play a key role in stopping websites or apps. Apart from this, the advertisements which are promoted on YouTube, social media should also be stopped. At the same time, the law enforcement agencies should also increase the number of raids, cases and remands.
Suggestions given by cyber police
This police officer gives four suggestions to save themselves from the terrible clutches of these online crimes and to control online gambling. They are-

  1. Mobile banking system should be strictly regulated.
  2. BTRC needs to play a stronger role in regulating gambling sites.
  3. The law enforcement forces should impose strict measures including arrests, cases, remands against those concerned.
  4. Public awareness should be created socially.
    BTRC strategy not working
    It is said on behalf of BTRC that the online betting website circles conduct these activities very cleverly. They are always out of touch. In this regard, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Systems and Services Division Director General Brigadier General Md. Khalil-ur-Rahman said, we are constantly playing an effective role in these matters. After blocking a website, adding a small dot to it, it (website) is being spread again. So far, we have blocked 26 thousand websites. Our team is monitoring these activities every day. Still they are trying to spread online gambling in various ways. We are in a strict position to control the matter.
    “Not only us, the people of the country must also come forward to prevent them. Care should be taken that morals and social values do not deteriorate. Parents should also keep an eye on their children’s activities. It is possible to control the matter very quickly if there is a joint effort of all” – this official thinks.
    What experts say
    Experts say that without regular and strong monitoring, it will be difficult to suppress these online crimes. Because most of the betting, gambling, casino websites and apps are being controlled from outside the country due to the free flow of information technology. Therefore, along with strictness, control management should be strengthened in various sectors of information technology. Besides, the natives involved in these activities should face exemplary punishment. Only then these activities can be reduced to some extent.
    Arif Moinuddin, cyber expert and managing director of Decodes Lab, said that in this age of technology, you cannot control these things at will. It is impossible to control them without creating public awareness at the individual level. Because, investing in these places is very easy. You have to pay a small amount in the beginning. For example, you can start online gambling with Tk 20 to Tk 100.
    “They will spread like an epidemic in the future if not strictly controlled. Even the lowest rungs of rural areas are getting involved, which is very scary.”
    “Apart from creating public awareness among the youth, harmful aspects of these issues should also be highlighted in the curriculum. And those who are spreading these activities in the country should face severe punishment. If you can set several such examples, no one else will dare to step on this path. These crimes should be clamped now” – comments of this crime expert.

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