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Myanmar to legalize casino gambling from May

by GS Admin Posted on 01 Apr, 2019

The south east Asian country of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is all set to legalize casino gambling in its country, in an effort to boost its tourism industry and attract foreign investment in the region.

A local news outlet Myanmar Times reported that President U Win Myint has recommended the proposed legalization of gambling in the Gambling Law of 1986 and it now just requires Parliament’s approval for it to become a law. The MPs of the country are set to resume work after the Thingyan, which is the country’s New Year festival in mid-April.

In 2017, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism of Myanmar requested permission of casinos at few hotels across islands that are popular with the tourists. Following this, Ministry of Union Government Office and the Ministry of Home Affairs jointly drafted the legislation allowing casinos in the region.

The legislation goes in line with the country’s efforts to increase its revenue and to boost the tourism sector. Currently, casinos are not allowed to operate in the country, but illegal ones have cropped up in unregulated areas like remote islands and border areas, including self-administered zones like Kokant and Wa.

Dr. Myat Nyarna Soe, secretary of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Joint Bill Committee who drafted this legislation said that the nation could no longer afford to ignore the illegal border casinos and the gambling venues in neighbouring countries. The law also states that only foreign visitors will be able to gamble in these casinos and not local citizens. To facilitate this, passports will be verified at every casino in the country.

While the citizens are allowed to employ themselves in these casinos, they can’t gamble, which is punishable under the new law. Many countries do this in order to prevent problem gambling in their region. Macau is a recent example which banned workers from playing in local casinos last December.

Existing hotels in Mandalay (capital) and Yangon will then open casinos in their venues and these are expected to draw both local and international investors to boost the nation’s economy with additional tax revenue. Keep reading GutshotMagazine.com for more such industry news from around the world.

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