The High Court on Monday declared all forms of gambling illegal across the country.
The court also asked law enforcement agencies to immediately seize any equipment used for gambling.
At the same time, the court asked the concerned authorities to take action against gambling organisers and gamblers.
The bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Md Mahmudul Hasan Talukdar passed the order after hearing a writ petition filed by two Supreme Court lawyers, Samiul Huq and Rokonuddin Md Faruk.
The court said organising indoor games such as housie, dice, flash, one-ten, and chorchori is prohibited by law because success in these games dependents on luck instead of skill.
While delivering the verdict, the court observed that the Public Gambling Act, 1867 needs to be updated and that the punishment for gambling should be increased.
The gambling act is applicable outside the metropolitan areas, but was not enforced in Dhaka city.
The maximum punishment under this law is three months jail and a fine of Tk200. Therefore the punishment should be increased for committing the offence, the court observed.
In its observation, the High Court applauded the recent anti-gambling drive by the government.
"The main purpose of the government's drive against casinos is to discourage gambling," observed the High Court.
In 2016, two Supreme Court lawyers had filed a petition seeking a High Court order to stop gambling at 13 exclusive clubs in Dhaka and four in other districts of the country.
The 13 upscale clubs are Dhaka Club, Uttara Club, Gulshan Club, Dhanmondi Club, Banani Club, Officers' Club, Dhaka Ladies' Club, Cadet College Club, Chittagong Club, Chittagong Seniors' Club, Narayanaganj Club, Sylhet Club, and Khulna Club.
Citing the DMP Ordinance 1976, Chittagong Metropolitan Police Ordinance 1978 and Public Gambling Act 1867, the petition said that all forms of gambling are illegal, but these clubs arrange gambling for their members despite this. They have even to put the related information on their websites, it added.
Following the petition, the High Court on December 4, 2016, issued a rule asking the concerned authorities to explain why directives should not be given to take action against the unlawful gambling business and the playing of indoor games such as cards, dice and housie for money, wager, stake or any other benefit.
The court had also ordered a stop to card and dice games as well as housie involving money at the clubs.
Dhaka Club later filed a plea at the Appellate Division and secured a freeze on the interim order that forbade gambling in clubs.
On Jan 23 this year, the High Court concluded a hearing on its rule regarding playing indoor games such as housie, dice and card for money by the 13 clubs. The court on that day fixed January 28 for giving its verdict. But, it gave the verdict on Monday, February 10.
Barrister Ruhul Quddus Kazal, who stood for Dhaka Club and Uttara Club at court, told the media that the clubs arrange the games for recreation only. Admitting that the clubs earn some money from these games, he claimed the earnings are spent on social welfare activities.
He said they will file an appeal at the Supreme Court challenging the High Court verdict once they get the full text of the verdict.