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Myanmar proposes new gambling law, banning its citizens from gambling

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Myanmar has proposed the 2018 Gambling Law, which again underlines its  citizens will not be allowed to take part in gambling in the country’s casinos

U Kyaw Soe Lin, secretary of the Lower House of Parliament’s Bill Committee, said: “Casinos are intended for foreigners only,. He added that casinos would be used mainly to attract tourists in the country’s bid to spur tourism and the national economy. He said casinos could become a useful tax generator for the government and would be good for Myanmar so long as they could be managed without harming citizens.

The new legislation would replace the existing gambling law that came to existence 32 years ago.

The new bill did not specify who could or could not gamble at a casino when the government introduced it in Parliament. The Lower House Bill Committee later added a clause stipulating that Myanmar citizens would be banned, U Aung Hlaing Win, a lawmaker representing Yangon’s Mingaladon Township, told The Irrawaddy.

But with the country in the midst of a democratic transition, he said, the government should be encouraging citizens to make their own informed decisions.

“Under the new law, a Myanmar businessman will find it difficult to go inside a casino with his foreign business partners. I don’t want citizens to be restricted unnecessarily. The Union government should be granted authority. If necessary, the union government can restrict gambling by citizens,” he said.

In February, U Aung Hlaing Win submitted a proposal in Parliament urging the government to legalize casinos in Myanmar.

“It is because of casinos that Macau and Hong Kong do not have any foreign debt. While we have a huge deficit, they have large surpluses. The gambling industry has been the main source of income for them,” he said.

The Bill Committee said the Home Affairs Ministry was also drafting other laws related to casinos and lotteries but had yet to submit them to Parliament.

Before submitting the new gambling bill to Parliament, the Public Affairs Committee held several meetings with the Bill Committee, Home Affairs Ministry, General Administration Department, Myanmar Police Force, Planning and Finance Ministry, Internal Revenue Department, Myanmar Investment Commission and Attorney General’s Office.

Although the existing Gambling Law bans casinos, a few, approved by the previous government, still operate on the island resorts of Myeik in Tanintharyi Region catering to tourists. Another casino near the Thai border in Myawaddy Township, Karen State, is reportedly owned by a colonel in a local border guard force.

Source: irrawaddy.com

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George Miller (Gyorgy Molnar) started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Pave the way to gambling success in India by launching an online casino business powered by Slotegrator

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Pave the way to gambling success in India by launching an online casino business powered by Slotegrator

 

While businesses everywhere are barely keeping their heads above water in a turbulent global economy, India offers a safe haven. When it comes to iGaming, the Indian horizon looks crystal clear and cloudless. This is one of many reasons why online casino operators are setting a course for India, which offers a more promising financial and legislative climate than many other jurisdictions.

India has been seen as a land of promise and opportunity throughout human history, with countless business endeavors made to the country in hopes of tapping into its riches — and the iGaming industry is no different. Online casino and sportsbook software supplier Slotegrator made its own trip to the Indian market to ensure it offers the online gambling community firm — and profitable — ground to stand on. The evidence that the game is worth the candle? India has a population of over 1.3 billion, constantly increasing access to mobile technology, and a gambling industry already estimated to be worth $60 billion USD per year. Need we say more?

Slotegrator has carried out thorough research on India’s iGaming prospects, the result of which is another vivid illustration of the current opportunities: India is now home to nearly 700 million smartphone users, with over 127 million new users coming online since 2019. With that in mind, iGaming operators may be asking themselves what steps they should take to launch an online casino project. They can find the answer in “A guide to starting an online casino in India” by Slotegrator.

The article leaves no stone unturned, shining a spotlight on all the crucial aspects of the serpentine process of opening an online gambling project. By getting in-depth information and studying up on necessary tricks under Slotegrator’s wing, operators can perfectly gear themselves up for iGaming success. With a focus on an in-depth market overview, Slotegrator leads readers through the journey to establishing a flourishing iGaming business, pinpointing all the market’s intricacies along the way.

In India, like in any other jurisdiction, operators should be well-educated with respect to gambling laws, which vary from state to state. While the regulatory framework in the country is complicated, ignorance will not be seen as an excuse, so operators should take careful note of online gambling regulations in order to find firm legal footing on Indian soil.

To run a successful iGaming business, operators have to lay the groundwork for the future of their projects, and Slotegrator’s guide to starting an online casino in India is definitely a helping hand for ambitious business owners with their eye on the booming market.

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Are Online Casinos in Malaysia Legal?

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If you are looking for a place to go on vacation for, or if you are looking for a foreign land to retire on, going to Southeast Asian countries can be a breath of fresh air and a good dose of a fresh view for anyone. This part of the continent is a favorite for all kinds of tourists–those who are into beaches, those who are into peaceful lands, or those who are into some good city life, and even for those who want to keep the feel of the bright lights and the rush of the Las Vegas life–simply put, gambling.

Naturally, before engaging in any kind of activity on foreign land, you would want to make sure how things work–what are the things you can do, and what are the things that you cannot do. As such, if you are someone who would want to visit Malaysia and you have gambling as one of the things in your mind, you must have a deep understanding of how the laws and regulations in the country regarding gambling.

What you should understand

If you are a gambler and looking to tour in Malaysia, one of the first things you should know is this: you can still play casino games in the country. Right now, the only legal casino establishment in the country is the integrated hill resort Casino de Gentin of the Genting Group. This is located at the Genting Highlands in Pahang. Other than that, no casino or betting establishments are recognized by the government as legal. This is due to the move of the Malaysian government that aimed to control and regulate gambling by stopping the granting of licenses for any betting establishment.

As such, this makes online betting a technically illegal activity in Malaysia. This means that no online casino or betting site operator can operate within the country. However, there is a grey area of uncertainty when it comes to Malaysian citizens betting through offshore sites. What a lot of people recommend for anyone who is into online betting, is to just bet on an offshore site that is preferably based in Europe that accepts international customers.

Laws concerning gambling in Malaysia

There are at least three major laws that influence how online betting, and gambling as a whole, in the country.

Betting Act of 1953

The Betting Act of 1953, simply put, outlaws all forms of sports betting in Malaysia–of course, except the currently recognized casino house in the country. The law can impose a fine of 200,000 ringgits and five years in prison for anyone who will be caught and proven to be operating a betting house illegally. Whether it includes today’s modern online betting sites is unclear.

Common Gaming Houses Act of 1953

This act encompasses all forms of gambling, to the point that one can be criminally prosecuted for not just operating a gaming house but simply even for just being caught inside one.

The law, which is extensive and comprehensive, encompasses every and all possible locations and forms where anyone can do betting and gambling. Still, it has no clear laws against online betting.

Sharia Law

Malaysia is a dominantly Muslim country, with more than 60% of its residents being Muslims. Thus, most of its people are bound by what is called Sharia Law.

The Sharia Law, which all Muslim people are bound to and they must adhere to, considers all forms of gambling–referred to as maisir or qimar–as absolutely forbidden or haram, in Muslim terms. However, non-Muslim people who are in the country are not bound by these laws.

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What the future holds for Macau the world’s gambling capital?

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What the future holds for Macau the world’s gambling capital?

MACAU, MACAU – JULY 18: Casino Lisboa, operated by SJM Holdings Ltd., stands in Macau, Macau, on July 18, 2018. According to the date from Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC), the Tourist Price Index, which reflects the price change of goods and services purchased by visitors, went up 2.78 per cent year-on-year to 129.86 in the second quarter of 2018. (Photo by S3studio/Getty Images)

Monte Carlo of the Orient, Las Vegas of the East – whatever the nickname, for more than a decade Macau has become the gambling capital of the world.

It earned the right to call itself the leader of global gambling in 2007 when the special administrative region of China overtook Las Vegas in annual gambling revenues.

So, how did this tiny peninsula in south China become a giant gaming force, and more importantly, how does its future look in light of the coronavirus pandemic?

A brief history

Gambling has been in existence in Macau since the 1850s when it was a territory under Portuguese rule. Up until the 1960s, the more than 200 gambling houses offered only Chinese-style gambling games.

That changed when, in 1962, the government awarded the monopoly gambling rights in Macau to the Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau (STDM) – a syndicate of Macau and Hong Kong businessmen.

The STDM revolutionized the Macau gambling landscape by introducing Western casino games and improving the region’s transport links and infrastructure, allowing for the arrival of millions of visitors from China and Hong Kong.

Macau was the last Portuguese bastion in Asia, and they held sovereignty over it up to 1999, when China agreed to take charge of the territory as an autonomous region (similar status as Hong Kong).

Especially due to this transition, the STDM’s monopoly ended in 2002. Then, the Macau government granted licenses to six casino operators: Sociedade de Jogos de Macau (which is 80% owned by a subsidiary of STDM), Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts, Galaxy Entertainment Group, a partnership between Melco and PBL, and a parternship between MGM Mirage and Pansy Ho Chiu-king.

Just five years after the end of casino monopolization, Macau became the most lucrative market in the gaming industry.

As of 2019, there are 41 casinos in Macau, including five of the 10 biggest casino resorts in the world.

Macau’s rise explained

So, how did a territory of just 33-square kilometres and a population less than 700,000 end up generating annual gambling revenues seven times those of Las Vegas?

Macau is uniquely placed in being the only Chinese territory with legalized gambling. Therefore, as the Chinese economy has grown into a superpower over recent decades, and the world’s largest population experiences a rapidly expanding middle and elite class, so too does the demand of entertainment forms like gambling.

However, it is Macau’s high-roller offerings that have played a huge part in the territories rise as a gambling mecca. There are more than 300 billionaires and over 1.6 million millionaires in China and they all only have one location within the country to gamble.

Gambling revenue accounts for around half of Macau’s annual revenue, and while that has been the key driving force behind its rise to prosperity, it has also left the territory extremely vulnerable to unforeseeable circumstances, like a global pandemic…

Macau’s uncertain future

Figures released for June 2020 saw gambling revenues plunge to $89.7m – down 97% year-on-year, which was the lowest revenue figures in a year of historic lows.

It also marked the third consecutive month that Macau’s gambling revenues had fallen by more than 90% year-on-year – all as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.

China – the source of the Covid-19 outbreak – introduced some of the strictest measures in the world aimed at combatting the spread of the virus, impacting all aspects of the country’s economy, notably travel and tourism.

So what was Macau’s greatest strength in being the only territory in China with legalized gambling is now proving to be its weakness.

While gambling sectors in other nations have also been hit hard, they have been able to soften the blow by launching or expanding their online casino betting services. On the US and the UK, horse racing betting is still a huge market and helps companies such as TwinSpires to go against the odds and keep delivering quality services.

However, with the overwhelming majority of Macau’s market located in mainland China, where access to online casinos is largely restricted, and high-rollers unable to visit to pump money into the economy, Macau has almost ground to a standstill.

Macau’s head of government, chief executive Ho Iat Seng, has criticized the territory’s dependence on the gambling industry and has said it has left them particularly vulnerable during this time.

With the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the gaming and tourism industries registered significant declines, with profound impact on industries connected to these areas,” Ho said. “This demonstrates, once again, the vulnerability and the enormous risks of the Macau economy’s excessive dependence on gaming and tourism industries.”

While governments around the world are taking cautious steps to reopen their economies, travel is expected not to return to normal for quite some time.

Macau, with the assistance of the central Chinese government, are expected to eventually recover from the economic effects of the coronavirus, but this crisis has shown that even the gambling capital of the world can be crippled by a global pandemic.

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