Lao police seize more than 100 slot machines in crackdown

Over 100 illegal slot machines were seized in a raid this month during a crackdown of illegal gambling operations in the northern Luang Namtha province, according to local media.

Police and other government officials inspected a number of restaurants and hotels throughout the province after several tip offs from locals that these businesses were used as illegal gambling dens.

“The raid was conducted to keep security and order in the province according to a provincial committee resolution issued in January,” said police Major Somphone Souvannakasy. “Now, we shut down the restaurants and hotels with slot-machines, and we will re-check the permits.”

Most of the patrons of these illegal casinos were Chinese, as well as young Lao locals, said a local resident.

Residents also said the gambling dens had ties with local officials. “Some Chinese operators open restaurants and hotels, and then with the cooperation and permission of some of the local officials they install slot machines for gambling later on,” said a local resident.