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Myanmar – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
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:
- Check the jurisdiction of the online casino
- Does the casino accept players from Myanmar?
- Do you have access to the accepted payment methods?
- Is the casino properly licensed to ensure fair gaming?
- Be aware of the legal situation and the risk involved
- The minimum age in most online casinos is 18+
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.