The busting of casinos at a number of sports club in the city may, on paper, look puzzling. A series of stories have been appearing in newspapers and electronic media about the casino operations. A few leaders of the political party in power and its youth wing have already been arrested in their alleged connection to run or back the unlawful casinos. The whole thing puts both the legal authority and moral practice in the country into question.
Casino is basically a facility for different types of gambling along with food, drinks and some other forms of entertainment including dance and music. In many countries, casinos are legal and tourist attractions. However, from moral and religious point of view, casino is not acceptable as it has many negative impacts on society. It encourages criminal and immoral activities and damages social harmony. It also distorts traditional culture.
Nevertheless, media reports already confirmed that the expansion of casinos in Bangladesh took place over the years and law enforcement agencies were not fully unaware. What prevented them to start a crackdown on the casinos is not clear yet. Indications are now there that strong political connection of the main operators of the casinos was a big obstacle to any legal action. Moreover, a number of unscrupulous members of the law enforcement agencies provided safeguard to theses casinos.
Thus the weaknesses in legal enforcement reflects overall bad governance in the country. In the name of development spree, good governance has already been compromised severely. Bad governance is gradually replacing good governance. It reminds the famous Gresham's Law in economics which argues that bad money drives out good money from the market. The law later becomes a matter of wide researches and a strong tool to evaluate good and bad in different areas.
When a fast growing economy sidelines the aspect of balanced distribution of wealth and resources, expansion of different illegal and unethical economic activities is inevitable. Too much emphasis on materialistic development drives a growing number of people to earn money and accumulate wealth at any cost. These also generate black money in abundance. Casinos set up one after another, in effect, absorb the black money.
Thus the casino has its own economics. Generally 'casino economy' is a greater concept which indicates such an economic environment where large risks, especially to public funds, are encouraged to large profits. But economics of casino explains the factors behind a surge of the casino gambling and its impact on local as well as national economy. In Bangladesh, now it is probably the time to analyse and understand the economics of casino.
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