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Bangladesh wants in on Asia's crowded casino market

Government weighs tourists-only gambling amid crackdown on illegal dens

Bangladesh plans to create new casino zones to increase foreign tourist arrivals.   © Reuters

DHAKA -- Muslim-majority Bangladesh plans to introduce legal casinos in its southeast and southwest as part of a strategy to increase tourism, even as it cracks down on underground gaming dens.

Islam forbids gambling, and Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Mohibul Haque acknowledged this week that the casino issue is "disputed." But he told reporters the move is "necessary" to attract more travelers.

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