Myanmar MPs call for gambling crackdown

MPs in Myanmar’s Lower House of parliament have called for a crackdown on gambling, saying a 1986 law covering the sector was outdated and insufficient.

Mar Mar Khine, who was backed by 10 other MPs, also called for tougher penalties, according to local media reports.  

“Back in the day playing cards was the most common. But now gambling varies from two-digit and three-digit lotteries to making bets on football matches. There are many kinds of dealers. Most of the players I’ve known got poor and deprived from excessive gambling,” she was cited as saying.

In 2015, the police arrested 5,290 suspects in 2,114 cases along with over Ks180 million ($138,000) in cash. Between January and November this year, 6,317 suspects were arrested in 276 cases along with more than Ks300 million in cash, the report said.

Two- and three-digit lotteries have become popular in Myanmar. In two-digit gambling (known as nhit-lone), ticket vendors use the last two digits of the closing Stock Exchange of Thailand index as the winning number of that day.

Three-digit (or thone-lone) is based on the last three numbers of the Thai National Lottery which is held once every two weeks. The winner gets 500 times the amount paid for the ticket.