Monday, 2 October, 2023

Social media awash with ads for casino apps

Teenagers, youths getting addicted to online gambling

An advertisement of ‘KpaB4eHK01,’ a gambling app, containing a photograph of cricketer Shakib Al Hasan is doing rounds on social media platform Facebook, claiming that the Bangladesh’s ace all-rounder played game at ‘Glory Casino’ through the app and won money.

A female voice is heard to urge people from different walks of life to install the app and play the game to make quick bucks.

‘Ordenda Storinok,’ another casino app of Glory Casino, is found to use a photo of popular singer Porshi while promoting itself on the social media platform.

Like these two apps of Glory Casino, many apps of different illegal online casino sites are promoting gambling and gaming on social media sites, including Facebook, to lure particularly teenagers and youths into playing gambling online.

Walking into the trap of the illegal casino sites, teenagers and youths are getting addicted to online gambling. Many have even become financially undone.

Besides, addiction to online gambling is forcing many to resort to various crimes to manage money, a senior police officer at the Police Headquarters said, wishing not to be named. 

Many snatch cash and valuables of commuters and passersby in the capital and other parts of the country to manage the money, he said.                A number of people committed suicide after being addicted to the online gambling while some killed their near and near ones after failing to get money from them to play gambling, the police official said.

He thinks strict monitoring by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) and Telecommunications Ministry can block the apps.

Contacted, Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar told the Daily Sun that it is the responsibility of Home Ministry to look into the casino issue. “When the photo of a celebrity like Shakib Al Hasan is used to promote illegal casinos or betting sites, the Home Ministry can take action,” he said.

The minister, however, said when casino sites try to make promotion with social media, they submit reports to Google, Facebook and YouTube on a regular basis recommending action against those.

He said they continue monitoring to block the apps.

This correspondent has found at least 43 apps making promotion of online gambling on social media platforms with lucrative offers.

These are Dream Esletes, Bubble Shooter, Carrom Pool,   Farm Heroes Saga, Ludo, Sweet Fruit Candy, Puzzle Game, Block Puzzle, Fruit Link, Mat Wodmah, Best Win 99 of 100%, Tu Vertu, Cute Cats, Fruit Wheels of Luck, Percayalah Jeer, Kim Raynor, For You4, Treasure of the Seven, Emilia Dhaka, Don Dhaka, The Impossible is Nothing, My Recl, Expert Option Ute, Patricia Brock Online 91566,  Evoluzima GT, Mega Apps, Grandy, DZJ1, Cytemation, Ameripa Medical, Lucky Rich Balls, Free Patti Gold, Teen Patti Sten, Elementary Doctors, 3 Patti Circle, Popular Games, Cute Cats, Grace Day 19, Roulette Rash, RooMM, 3 Patti Win, Covert Strongers, Master Cherries, 39 EJF Winner in Avia, Wintory 8888, Feen Patti Galaxy, 3 Patti Crash and Mystic Melodies.

The app-based gambling came to limelight in 2022.

Tanvir Ahmed, an eighth semester student of Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur, committed suicide on August 7, 2022 by making a post “I out forever” on his Facebook account.

He was addicted to online gambling and finally killed self after losing a lot of money.

Roksana Kharun, an English teacher of Kushtia Zila School, was killed by her nephew Nishat, who was addicted to online gambling, for money to play the casino.

Roksana who had no children used to take care of Nishat as her own son.

Contacted, Assistant Inspector General (Media and Public Relations) of Police Manzur Rahman told the Daily Sun that they were keeping a close surveillance on the gambling apps and sites.

Police will take action against those involved in promoting gambling apps using the photos of celebrities, he added.