Some of Sri Lanka's existing casinos are used as pick-up points by commercial sex workers, especially non-national ones, who also cater to the tourist trade.
The UNP itself drew criticism from sections of the current ruling coalition for planning a law to legalize 'redlight' districts shortly before it was thrown out of power in 2004.
The posturing is typical of the widespread hypocrisy and deceptive 'politicking' that is practised on the people by all politicians in the island.
Sri Lanka is planning to attract several million tourists to the island after a 30-year war ended last year. Tourists who frequent casinos are usually high spenders. Several Asian nations including Malaysia has designated areas where gambling is legal.
The bill to regulate casinos was passed with a comfortable 114 majority with 33 voting against, a reporter said.
The move came as police launched a hunt for people appearing in pornographic material amid protests that some of the material was stolen private property and the people involved were being victimized twice.Though police got a court order to publish the pictures in the media, many newspapers refused to carry the pictures saying they were not sure of the origins of the material and whether or not they were digitally altered.