Published On: Wed, Jan 10th, 2018

Myanmar Ministers Seek Government Approval for Casinos

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According to the latest news reports from Myanmar, ministers representing Shan, Mandalay, Tanintharyi, Mon, and Kayin have placed a request before President U Henry Van Thio to legalize casinos within hotels.

Casinos are prohibited in Myanmar. This has been the case ever since the country passed the Gambling Law of 1986. However, gambling, in its illegal forms, is very much active here, especially in the regions of Shan State and Tanintharyi.

U Yan Win, Chairman of the Myanmar Tourism Federation and a proponent of casino legalization, stated that the ministers informed the President of Myanmar’s position in terms of casino investments. Currently, the country lags behind the other countries that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Myanmar remains an exception

Win also pointed out that the government was losing significant revenue due to the illegal casinos that were operating at the borders near China and Thailand.

At the end of the meeting, it is believed the ministers asserted that opening casinos would generate much-needed revenue and boost the country’s economy. The revenue, according to Win, would be a boon for job creation and other developments,

Win also pointed out that Myanmar was the only country not to legalize gambling among all ASEAN countries and that’s exactly why the current proposition has been made.

Optimism in the air

Win expressed a sense of optimism, saying that there would come a time when Myanmar would eventually have to give the green signal for casinos. However, there is no conclusive information as the Vice President is yet to offer a response regarding the matter.

However, Win wasn’t the only one expressing optimism. His sentiments were echoed by U Khin Zaw, the Adviser to the Union Minister of Hotel and Tourism. Zaw stated that legalizing casinos would be a good move as it would boost tourism and increase revenue generation.

To justify his statement, he cited the current increase in tourism within Asia. It is believed that there has been a 20% increase in Asian tourism, whereas European tourism has suffered a 15% decline.

Zaw added that casinos would prove to be very useful in attracting more tourists and that the impact would be more positive than negative.

The ministers have submitted their proposal to all relevant authorities and are hoping that their plans will be realized, especially considering the benefits it can bring in

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