Draft law for foreigner-only casinos in Myanmar: report

A bill that would authorise in principle the setting up of foreigner-only casinos in the Southeast Asia state of Myanmar was submitted to the lower house of the country’s legislature on Tuesday, the Myanmar Times newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The Gambling Bill 2018 is said to include amendments to an existing statute, the Gambling Act 1986.

The news outlet cited legislator Aung Hlaing Win, as saying the detailed rules and bylaws for a casino industry would be decided once the framework legislation was passed.

“Only foreigners will be allowed into the casinos. As such, the government will target areas with the most foreigners, such as near the border,” the legislator was quoted as stating.

Kyaw Soe Lin, secretary of the committee due to scrutinise the bill, said border locations for foreigner-only casinos would help attract people from neighbouring Thailand and China.

Myanmar’s neighbour Thailand shows no sign of moving to legalise casinos, despite some noises to that effect in 2015. In China, only the Macau Special Administrative Region is allowed legally to offer casino gambling.

Several casinos are already documented on casino directory websites as operating in the Myanmar portion of the so-called ‘Golden Triangle’ – a place where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet at the confluence of the Ruak and Mekong Rivers.

Historically the degree of control Myanmar’s central government has been able to wield over its share of that area has been limited by conflicts with ethnic-minority groups, according to media reports.


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