Officials of leading sports clubs in the country claimed they were not aware of the illegal casinos operating out of their premises. However, they said, to address the issue in the long run, the government must create legal sources of income for the clubs.
"The sports clubs are run by the donation mainly. None of them have any other income source," said Ahmed Sajjadul Alam Bobby, BCB Director and Abahani official.
"So club members used to operate card-rooms to collect funds for the clubs."
"However, as the expenditure of the clubs go up, other people - who are not club members - are encouraged to join the clubs' card-rooms. This is an accepted form of income for the clubs," Bobby added.
"There are some people with questionable backgrounds and a lot of money. They came in and tried to manipulate the clubs," Bobby said.
Mohammedan sporting club, one of the oldest and most prestigious clubs in the country had one such casino.
"As soon as I found out about it, I shut it down," Lokman Hossain Bhuiyan, director in-charge of Mohammedan Sporting Club, said.
Lokman however added that he understood how casinos within different clubs had built up over time.
"No sports club has its own income source.So for creating a source of income many clubs took it as a chance and thus the culture developed. I want to note that local politicians also put big pressure on the clubs to run these sort of bars or casinos. However, we want to end this now for good," Lokman said.
Bobby also gave a few possible solutions that could help clubs solve this financial crisis.
"If you look at other countries, there are many legal and regular ways to earn money for the clubs. If we can ensure that, the clubs will be able to run by themselves. So we have to find out a logical way to keep our clubs alive. It can be by allowing clubs to run banks, insurance or government bodies," he added.
"At the same time, the government can run lotteries for the clubs and share the revenues. There are many other ways as well. And thus the clubs can be free from asking for money from people. At the same time, the government can earn taxes from clubs as well," Bobby concluded.