One of the clubs to be caught in recent casino crackdowns, Victoria Sporting Club has been named as the pioneer of illegal gambling in sports clubs.
Police raided the club on September 22, along with Mohammedan Sporting Club, Arambagh Krira Sangha and Dilkusha Sporting Club.
Sources revealed that Victoria led the way in gambling among the clubs in Motijheel.
Founded in 1903, Victoria was one of the first sporting clubs established in Bangladesh. Named after Queen Victoria, the club started its journey with football. But with time, they expanded to cricket and hockey as well.
They were one of the most successful football teams in the country before independence, but failed to show the same level of prominence afterwards.
The club were league champions in 1948 and 1962, and were runners-up in 1960 and 1961. They were still active in Bangladesh's football leagues in the 1980s and '90s with average performance.
But, as time went by, their performance further declined. They were never able to get into the professional football league since its inauguration in 2007, and currently play in Championship – the second tier of Bangladesh Premier League.
Victoria was prominent in local cricket in the early 2000s. They were twice champions in the National Premier League in 2002 and 2003, but never managed to reach the same height again.
After finishing in eighth, seventh and fourth in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively, they were relegated in 2017. Failing to earn promotion, they now sit in the second division.
Their hockey team still exists, but just in name only.
The question is, was Victoria willing to stay in the lower leagues to keep their illegal business hidden?
After the raids, there will now be a black spot in the club's history, and that spot may be difficult to wipe off.
Victoria had fallen from grace a long time ago, and the casino issue might turn out to be the last nail in its coffin.