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A free gambling zone on the Thaungyin River

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A free gambling zone on the Thaungyin RiverReading Time: 4 minutes

Daytime in Myawady city (Myanmar) near the Thai border in Kayin State is crowded with trucks and travellers to Thailand, but after 6pm, its streets become less congested.

The darkness that descends on the city is broken only by the light provided by generators. Small shops start packing up their remaining stock. In the silent and cool night, the liveliest places in Myawady are casinos.

I reached the famous Three Nines Casino in Myawady in early February. At the gate, guards with weapons stopped the car.

Are you playing at the casino?” they asked.

When a young guy who accompanied me nodded, they let the car pass. After a few minutes, we arrived at a brightly lit place that looked like a restaurant or hotel. Its parking lot had hundreds of cars.

There are many casinos, stores and restaurants in Myawady city on the Thaungyin river, which locals say are owned by Thai businessmen. When people enter the casinos, security guards conduct thorough body searches.

Business is good inside the main gambling hall. Under spotlights and cameras, young ladies are busy dealing cards. Most of the gamblers are well-dressed Thais. Games include kyar nagar, shan koe mi, jackpot and fish. Most customers pay in Thai baht. The pit bosses are Thai women.

Waitresses carry trays and serve gamblers drinks and food so they don’t have to leave the tables. For those who don’t want to find a place to eat and sleep in Myawady, casinos are a convenient place to kill time, said resident driver Ko Phyo Gyi.

There are many restaurants near the casinos and the food is free for heavy gamblers.

Hey, youk pha [which means ‘brother-in-law’, but colloquially means ‘dude’ or ‘bro’], bet on the red,” Ko Naing, 30, who sold his bicycle shop to come to play at Tiger Dragon casino, told me. He looked like he had passed many sleepless nights.

He had played for three straight days when I met him and had no more cash, but he was still giving advice to others. While he was talking, a bell was rung by a supervisor and bets were paid back in 1000-, 100- and 20-baht notes.

Ko Naing showed me the lucky draw slips he had been given as a heavy gambler.

I will go back after the lucky numbers are drawn. At about midnight, the owner herself will come out to draw the numbers. Prizes include motorcycles, beds, pillows and other goods,” he said.

The casino has many surveillance cameras and security guards keep their eye on everyone in the hall.

When night comes, a crowd of Thais enters Myawady city from across the Thaungyin, which Thais call the Moei, River. At midnight, the 24-hour casino is the most crowded place in Myawady. Ko Naing says Myanmar migrant workers also come to the casino from the Thai side.

The casino has a three-digit lottery, which it draws every morning and every night. The second largest room, on the right side of the main gambling hall, has a ring for the tiger and dragon game.

One casino employee takes out his phone and opens an app called “M Club”. Another staff member then hands him a piece of paper with the words “Myawady Online” on it. A username, password, and rules are printed on the paper, which allows users to play casino games online. The paper includes a 1000-baht (K43,000) credit to begin playing. An internet or phone connection is required to play the game. Preparations are being made so that the games at Three Nines Casino in Myawady can be played online, but it is still a work in progress.

Crime in Myawady has increased, so locals demonstrated in January to close the casinos and gambling dens in the city. Residents say there have been many murders, thefts, robberies, burglaries, swindles, and pickpockets because of the gambling.

It has been about two years since we were able to hang our longyis outside at night,” the wife of driver Ko Phyo Gyi said.

Gambling places have increased since 2010 and, at the beginning of 2016, casinos became very popular, said township chairman U Tun Nay Aung of the Union Solidarity and Development Party.

They can be controlled if there is local development and law enforcement,” he said.

Myawady township Police Captain Min Ko said there are no more gambling places in downtown Myawady and police have taken action in 18 gambling cases.

If they continue, they will be arrested. It is not allowed in the city anymore,” said Major Naing Maung Zaw of the border guards.

Although there are casinos outside of Myawady where people can play with foreign currency, they are now closed during the annual school matriculation exams.

I don’t know what will happen after the exams. If gambling destroys people’s lives, it will no longer be allowed,” Major Naing Maung Zaw said.

There are altogether 10 casinos, including one at almost every checkpoint under the control of the Myawady border guards, said U Thant Zin Maung, state Hluttaw MP for Myawady.

There are many casinos along the river located at the gates controlled by the border guards,” he said.

Although locals in Myawady want casinos eliminated, the central government wants to allow casinos in the border area in order to earn money to pay off foreign debts and will give permission to foreigner-only casinos on islands that tourists visit, U Ohn Maung, the minister of Hotels and Tourism, told the Pyithu Hluttaw in February.

Casinos are making a fortune in Macao and Singapore, so Myanmar, which has a foreign debt of about US$10 billion, should allow casinos, U Aung Hlaing Win, Pyithu Hluttaw MP for Mingaladon township in Yangon, said recently.

There are about 70 gambling dens in Myawady town, and although police and border guards have promised to eliminate them, business is still bustling at the casinos on the banks of the Thaungyin.


Source: European Gaming News

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European Gaming News

EveryMatrix inks RGS Matrix agreement with Wild Boars

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EveryMatrix announces the second RGS Matrix partnership with Wild Boars, newly launched gaming studio that aims to bring creative storytelling and a fresh feel to the gaming industry.

Launched in 2019 as EveryMatrix sixth standalone solution, RGS Matrix enables gaming development teams to distribute, manage, and report upon a proprietary game product portfolio.

This ‘out of the box’ remote gaming server was built on an open architecture and caters for outstanding player experience, consistent deployment, and quicker content integration.

Mathias Larsson, Managing Director of RGS Matrix, says: “This is our second RGS Matrix agreement and it brings me a lot of joy to know that our solution starts gaining momentum in the market. Our remote gaming server aims to help the new generation of game builders by providing all the means to create, design, distribute and manage games.

“The team of Wild Boars is experienced, skilled and highly creative. I am looking forward to seeing their games live and appreciated by players in many countries.”

Oleksandr Yermolaiev, Managing Director of Wild Boars, comments: We truly believe that choosing a right partner is crucial for success. For us, RGS Matrix and its remarkable team is just that partner. We are excited to use EveryMatrix solution, focus on what we do best and bring our innovative games to a wide range of operators, territories and players. RGS Matrix is dashing ahead and we are happy to join the ride.”

RGS Matrix powers slots and table games, and is currently certified for Malta, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Romania, and Colombia, with many jurisdictions to come in the upcoming years.

 

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European Gaming News

EGT Romania: new promotions for slot machines!

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EGT Romania: new promotions for slot machines!

 

A challenge that EGT Romania has always accepted, both towards customers and other operators, most of them already becoming partners, is to always offer them the opportunity to grow their businesses by choosing the most performing, attractive, interactive, awarded and appreciated products from the gambling industry. So, periodically we make offers as attractive as possible to facilitate the decision to progress of each operator.

Starting with January 2020, EGT Romania offers operators the opportunity to purchase slot machines from both previous generations and the latest models, at extraordinary prices conditions.

VEGA VISION UP, VEGA VISION +UP, VEGA VISION +ST – in 12 or 24 installments without advance payment

The increasingly diverse demands of players develop the need for operators to integrate tailor-made products and services into their gaming halls. AWPs are some of them. Taking this into account, you can now take advantage of the following offer:

  • You can purchase cabinets from the Vega Vision range with AWP mixes in 12 or 24 installments, without advance payment.
  • You can also purchase Vega Vision cabinets in 12 or 24 installments, without advance payment, if you choose game mixes from the Collection Series range.

!!! In addition, we thought that you might want to convert AWP to Collection Series or vice versa at some point, so we created a minimum cost for you. Therefore, you will benefit of only 999 Euro + VAT per conversion (compared to 1950 Euro + VAT – the basic price).

P-24/24 UP, P-27/27 ST SLIM – 2 months free of charge!

These EGT slot machines, equipped also with AWP game mixes, awarded and appreciated year after year, are still in the top of the preferences of players and operators alike.

The active special offer consists in:

  • Enjoy 2 months free of charge when renting P-24/24 Up and / or P-27/27 St Slim with AWP game mix

S32/55 – S-line range – 40 E discount

Presented for the first time in Romania in September 2019, within the EAE, the S32/55 terminal, from the S-line multiplayer range, impresses with the imposing appearance, with a dominant display of 4K resolution, 55 inches.

Active offer:

  • You can rent S32/55, during this period, with 40 E discount.

For questions, complete information and additional details, we invite you to contact the EGT Romania sales team at the data available here.

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European Gaming News

Could UK Government Policy Threaten Online Betting Promos?

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Most observers would agree that the UK political class is pursuing a dialogue on the very nature of the gambling industry. The headline issue is, of course, fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT’s), which have been the focus of a huge campaign. This week the UK Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, announced that the maximum stake in these gaming machines will be cut dramatically starting in October 2019. The move has cross-party support, and even the gambling industry has been vocally supportive, knowing that it at least makes sense from a PR perspective to seem concerned about the issue.

However, FOBT’s are not the only issue being discussed about the industry in the UK, with some changes perhaps having a big impact on punters. Advertising has come under scrutiny recently, with an almost saturated feel to the volume of sports betting adverts played on television during events like Premier League games. Sky, the UK’s dominant figure in sports broadcasting, has agreed to ‘regulate itself’ and limit the number of betting adverts beginning at the start of the 2019 Premier League season.

Sky moving to restrict advertising

The move by Sky, while seemingly commendable as they will lose out on a chunk of the estimated £460 million gambling companies spend on advertising in the UK, is also indicative of the fact that the landscape is changing. The Labour Party, in particular, has signalled that they will try to put curbs on many aspects of the industry should they win the next election. For example, Labour deputy leader, Tom Watson, has called for a ban on funding accounts with credit cards and any advertising during live sports events.

However, one area that will be keenly watched by casino players and bettors is that of promotions. Incentives like free bets, price boosts, reload bonuses and the rest are the “carrot” that usually acts as a tipping point to encourage a player to join a new site, but they are certainly not the only reason why people bet. If a Government decides that promotions force people to bet, rather than supplement a decision that has already been made, could they too be in the firing line as the UK authorities try to further regulate the industry?

Free bets offers popular with punters

One would argue that would come to the detriment of the customer, rather than the industry. Consider how a punter might want to bet with William Hill on Real Madrid at 12/1 to win the Champions League, or the Boston Celtics at 7/1 with Bet365 to win the NBA Championships; they could check a list of free bet no deposit 2018 offers and potentially make their bet for free. Is it fair to take away those incentives from the customer?

There is a fine line between the idea of a promotion and the “bet now!” command that is being looked at by the Advertising Standards Agency, but it’s hard to know where that line will be drawn in the future. Punters would be irate to learn that they can’t, for example, go to a bookie and find an incentive like a price boost on the current odds of 12/1 for Chelsea to win the Premier League.

In the end though, money usually settles these matters. While the UK Government has made moves on FOBTs, it was slow-acting because bookmaker shops were keen to point out that those betting terminals equate to jobs. 2017/18 was estimated to have raised £2.8 billion in gaming tax receipts for the UK Exchequer. The Government will be loath to jeopardise that income. The point is: if the bookies can make their case, those promos will be here to stay.

 

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