The Evolving Landscape of Gambling Regulation in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, the gambling landscape is undergoing significant changes. It reflects broader shifts in societal attitudes and technological advancements. The legal frameworks are struggling to keep pace with the realities of modern gambling practices. If you are into gambling in Bangladesh, you have a clear idea about these matters. Besides, if you are thinking of trying your luck in gambling, undertaking the overall landscape of gambling landscape will help you make informed decisions.

Keep on reading to learn about the current legal perspective on gambling in Bangladesh, the burgeoning world of online gambling. We will also explain notable exceptions to the general prohibition and the potential future of gambling regulations in the country.

Legal Perspective of Gambling in Bangladesh

The Public Gambling Act of 1867, a colonial-era law, prohibits most forms of gambling in Bangladesh. The Act defines a "common gaming house" as any place where instruments of gaming are kept or used and declares such establishments illegal. This law makes operating or being in charge of a public gambling establishment a criminal offense.

It is not permissible to set up a physical casino under the Act. However, the Act does not explicitly address the emerging domain of online gambling, leading to a regulatory gray area. Besides, there are two gambling laws in Bangladesh that completely provision playing gambling/lottery.

Section 294A of The Penal Code, 1860: This section of the Penal Code doesn't specifically pertain to online gambling but is one of the scattered provisions related to gambling in Bangladeshi laws.

Section 92 of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (Amendment) Ordinance, 1976: Similar to Section 294A, this provision doesn't address online gambling directly but is another part of the legal framework mentioning gambling in Bangladesh.

Online Gambling in Bangladesh

The advent of the internet and digital technologies has led to the rise of online casino in Bangaldesh, which presents unique challenges for regulatory authorities. Despite the general prohibition of gambling, as we mentioned before, there is no specific law in Bangladesh that directly addresses online gambling. This lack of clear legal guidance has led to a burgeoning online gambling scene. As a result, international gambling websites and platforms are operating in the country.

Many of these online gambling sites operate in a legal vacuum, taking advantage of the ambiguity in the law. They offer a range of betting options, from sports betting to casino games, and are accessible to anyone with an internet connection. This accessibility has made online gambling increasingly popular, especially among the younger population. There is even an age group of under 18 people who are involved in online casino activities. It has become easy for the tech-savvy generation to create an account and play gambling without violating any laws. Besides, most of the websites are currently operating in the country using local payment systems with local agents to give people a seamless gambling experience.

The Exceptions: Horse Racing and Lotteries

Despite the general prohibition on gambling, Bangladesh has specific exceptions for certain types of betting activities. Horse racing and lotteries stand out as the two notable exceptions legally recognized by the government.

Horse Racing Betting

Horse racing has a long history in Bangladesh and is one of the few forms of gambling that is legally permitted. The Bangladesh Race Control Authority (BRCA) is responsible for overseeing and regulating all aspects of horse racing in the country. Under the BRAC's jurisdiction, individuals are allowed to place bets on horse races, provided they are organized by authorized entities. This exception to the general gambling ban reflects the cultural and historical significance of horse racing in Bangladesh.


Lotteries are another form of gambling that is legal in Bangladesh. The government operates several state-run lotteries, and private lotteries must obtain a license to operate. Participants in these lotteries must be at least 18 years old. The revenue generated from lotteries is often used to fund social and charitable programs, making them a vital component of the country's socio-economic fabric.

The Possibilities in the Future Regarding Gambling in Bangladesh

As we mentioned before, it is not legal to set up or play physical gambling, but there is a high chance that it will change soon. Looking forward, the landscape of gambling regulation in Bangladesh is poised for potential change. The rapid growth of online gambling, coupled with the increasing demand for legalized and regulated betting options. The authority is thinking of legalizing physical gambling in highly tourist areas such as Cox’s Bazar. High government authorities have provided some positive statements about the matter. It suggests that the current legal framework may soon be inadequate. But the problem is that Bangladesh is a Muslim country. If any movement legalizes gambling even in any part of the country, there will be consequences. People may go against the decisions.

There is growing recognition that comprehensive regulation of the gambling sector could provide significant economic benefits, including increased tax revenues and job creation. Moreover, a regulated gambling environment would allow for better protection of consumers and more effective measures against problem gambling and related social issues. Besides, there is a high chance that the government will take some initiatives regarding online betting in Bangladesh shortly.

The government can consider adopting a more strategic approach to gambling regulation. There is a great deal of information available to them from other countries where legal and regulated gambling is legal. This might involve establishing a regulatory body to oversee all forms of gambling, implementing robust licensing systems, and ensuring responsible gambling practices.

Final Words

 The landscape of gambling regulation in Bangladesh is at a crossroads. With the rise of online gambling and the enduring popularity of exceptions like horse racing and lotteries, there is an increasing need for a modern, comprehensive legal framework that addresses the realities of today's gambling environment. As Bangladesh continues to evolve and adapt to new technological and societal trends, the future of gambling regulation in the country remains a topic of significant interest and potential.

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