Government warning baffles video game shops

Video game operators are desperately seeking advice from authorities on where to secure license for their businesses amid threat by authorities to shut down their operations.

Police and local officials are considering shutting down their operations on suspicion that they are operating illegal online gambling.

Over 200 owners of video gaming shops in Yangon said the township administrators also informed them to immediately secure a license for their businesses or their shops would be padlocked for doing business without license.

“I opened a small video game shop seven years ago and I tried to get a license from Yangon City Development Committee,” Ko Sithu Thanwin, a small game shop owner from Sanchaung Town, said on Thursday. “But they replied that there’s no such type of license.”

“When the township-administrator informed us to shut down, I tried to get a legal license again on October 16 and I got the same response.”

Ko Sithu Thanwin said that he even submitted a letter regarding the problem to the Chief Minister of Yangon Region, U Phyo Min Thein, two years ago, but yet to receive a reply until now.

“We want to pay the proper tax to government and get a license, “said Ko Myat Thu, a video game service operator. “We want to be a legal business without having to fear anyone”.

Video game shops are popular in Yangon and other cities in Myanmar as video game consoles like Sony Playstation 4 or Xbox and other well known gaming systems are very expensive and beyond the reach of ordinary citizens.

In the video shops, people can play on a PlayStation 3 consoles and other gaming systems for only K300 or K400 per hour.

Source : Myanmar Times

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