Filipino gamblers may soon enjoy access to Myanmar casinos pending additional framework.
The Public Affairs Committee of the Lower House Parliament drafted and introduced Gambling Bill 2018 to the Lower House session in August. The gambling legislation quickly passed through the Lower House after an additional section added August 21st framed Myanmar’s casinos to only serve foreign clientele. Word of whether domestic businesses and individuals may obtain a casino license is unclear, however, Myanmar has already received bids and interest from foreign casino entities to invest in the country’s newly emerging sector.
Myanmar’s Gambling Bill 2018 would bring about the creation of a new gambling law as the new bill would amendment parts of the previous governing gambling law the Gambling Act of 1986. Myanmar’s Gambling Act of 1986 was drafted during a time where a socialist government controlled the country which is now outdated and ill-equipping the country to deal with modern gambling issues. The Gambling Bill 2018 would regulate new emerging gambling methods, meet current government administrative needs, and present the country with new opportunities such as casinos and a state lottery.
While new gambling legislation could present progress for Myanmar’s casino industry, legislator Nay Myo Tun has stated the Gambling Bill 2018 is “not a casino law” citing casino laws include many sections and thus complicated. In further explanation, Parliamentarian Nay Myo Tun detailed the need for rules and regulations regarding Myanmar’s casino development to follow an approved legislative framework. While the timeline for Myanmar’s casino industry is unknown, legislators are in agreeance any Myanmar casinos would not allow locals and only cater to foreign gamblers.
To clarify targeted casino development areas, local lawmaker U Aung Hlaing Win explained the government’s interest in building casinos by Myanmar’s most populated tourist zones and foreigner concentrated areas. Myanmar’s borders are the main target for casino development. According to Director General of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration under the Ministry of Planning and Finance, Aung Naing Oo, casino operators from Macau are particularly interested in casino development and operations in Myanmar.
However, despite no confirmed timeline for domestic casinos nor a federal framework, provisions to prevent casino gambling and development within Myanmar’s Cultural Heritage have already been established. Myanmar casinos can potentially create competition for Chinese casinos and the Philippine casino industry. However, Myanmar casinos could also provide more affordable gambling options for Filipinos and other Asian residents.