Myanmar (which was formerly known as Burma and is now officially known as the Republic of the Union of Myanmar) is one of the countries of Southeast Asia. It shares its northern borders with China and its eastern borders with Laos and Thailand and, to the west, lies India and Bangladesh. The country is famous for its beautiful temples and nature and is becoming more and more popular with international tourists. Tourists are also an important factor when it comes to the local gambling industry. While locals are officially not allowed to gamble, there is still a large amount of land-based, brick-and-mortar casinos in the country. Only foreigners are allowed to enter these casinos and the government hopes to create additional income this way. So, what other rules and regulations guide gambling practices in Myanmar? Let’s find out…
If you are doing research online about the casino at which you want to play in Myanmar, you should take several important factors into account. If you are a local, you won’t be able to access any of the land-based casinos, as these are only open for foreign tourists, as previously mentioned. Tourists can play at these casinos without any issues but have to be at least 18 years old. The situation is a bit different for online casinos. There are no regulations in place, no proper online gambling laws and there is no local authority overseeing online gambling.
So, while it is technically illegal to play online in Myanmar, it really is more of a gray area in practical terms. The government does not prosecute or investigate such activity as it stands right now. Until now there is no known case where an individual has been fined or prosecuted. As a result, many players in Myanmar chose to play in online casinos that are licensed abroad. Before signing up yourself, however, be sure to read over this checklist:
We also suggest checking out the GoodLuckMate top list where you can find the best international online casinos that accept players from Myanmar.
In 2017, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism came up with the plan to integrate casinos in some selected hotels in an effort to boost the local economy by attracting wealthy individuals to the region. An official request for approval was filled and later granted by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Just a year later, the first gambling facility was created and opened up mainly in resorts on popular tourist islands within the country’s borders. As previously explained, these casinos are not open to the local population. Citizens of the country are allowed to conduct business and accept employment at the land-based casinos but are not permitted to gamble. The only entirely legal form of gambling that Burmese people can take part in is the state-run lottery.
As gambling is not legal in Myanmar there are currently no online casinos based in the country. However, the online casino market is mostly unregulated and the government does not actively pursue Burmese people that are playing at foreign casinos. As a result, a lot of online casinos opened up their sites for players from this region. Due to the fact that Myanmar is a gray market the casino operators do not specifically promote their services here. Furthermore, there are usually no localized versions of the websites or Burmese customer support available. This is why most players are using the English site and support. Most online casinos offer bonuses and promotions specially designed for the international market. This means that Burmese players can also take advantage of these lucrative deals. Please make sure to read the bonus terms to ensure that players from your area are eligible for bonus offers.
At the land-based casinos for tourists, it is, of course, possible to play in the local currency. Next to the Burmese kyat, some of the resorts also accept major currencies such as the euro, US dollar, and Chinese renminbi. Please be aware that this is not always the case, however. ATMs with local (and sometimes foreign) currency can be found at every casino resort. It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that is not possible to play for Burmese kyat at any foreign-based online casino. The most common currencies that can be found are euros and US dollars. While you can use your Burmese payment methods, be aware that you will likely be charged a small currency conversion fee on each and every deposit and withdrawal.
If you are on holiday in Myanmar, you can choose between several casinos in various locations. The most popular destinations are the Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Poh Teong Kang, Kawthaung off the southern tip of Myanmar, the Allure Resort, which is located just across the northern Myanmar border from Thailand in Tachilek, and the Myawaddy Complex Casino in the town of Myawaddy in south-eastern Myanmar. Other options include the Regina Golf Club, Hotel & Resort Casino in the town of Talicheik, and the Andaman Club Resort & Casino on the island of Thahtay Kyun. Foreign online casinos that accept players from Myanmar are often regulated and located in Malta, Gibraltar, Kahnawake, or Curaçao.
A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.
Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.
If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.
The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.
The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.
Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.
The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.
The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.