The Myanmar online betting landscape is not too unlike that of many other countries in the world. Nonetheless, this Southeast Asian nation still has its own special characteristics when it comes to gambling. Two main factors can strongly influence the development of the gambling industry in any country. One is religion/culture, and the other is governance. Religions have different views on the sanctity of gambling. Some – Islam being a prime example – absolutely forbid the hobby, terming it “evil and unclean”. Others may discourage it but not forbid it – at least not in such vehement terms. There’s a third category of religions that don’t have much to say about gambling.
The fact that Buddhism is the dominant religion in the country favors Myanmar online betting. Of all major world religions, Buddhism is arguably the most lenient towards all forms of gambling. However, the governance side poses a real challenge to Myanmar online betting and any other form of gambling in the country. It is a huge reason why while Asia is becoming the world’s largest gambling market, Myanmar is not following in the same vein. Only evolving from a military dictatorship to a democratic state in 2011, the political environment in the country is a highly volatile one. This has made the creation of gambling legislation and enforcement of the same quite difficult. So, how exactly is the Myanmar online betting market situation?
Myanmar Online Betting – Legal Or Illegal?
For most intents and purposes, all forms of gambling in Myanmar are illegal. Unfortunately, that includes Myanmar online betting too. No company has a license to operate an online casino in the country. It’s a situation much similar to other East Asian nations. If you’re a foreigner in Myanmar, however, your situation is different. To promote tourism and stimulate the economy, the government allows tourists to gamble. Tourists are expressly permitted to gamble online, and there are land-based casinos in Myanmar for them to use. Under the law, these casinos may not welcome Myanmar nationals or be run by Myanmar nationals. The Myanmar casinos are usually adjunct to major hotels and resorts – the usual tourist hot zones. The four main ones at the time of writing are:
- Regina: Located in Tachilek, and features 30 gaming machines and various casino games as main attractions.
- Allure: a 90-room hotel also in Tachilek. The casino boasts 13 table games and 120 slot machines.
- Treasure Island: a 24 hours/day casino that’s part of a resort complex in 2005 near Kawthaung.
- Andaman Club: located on the paradise tropical island of Thahtay Kyun. A 5-star casino offering slots and table games 24 hours a day.
The only explicitly legal form of online betting in Myanmar is the state-operated national lottery.
Is There Online Betting At All?
The answer is yes, plenty! Even though considered unlawful, Myanmar online betting is very much alive. Online gambling is quite popular globally, probably fueled by the sanction against land-based Myanmar casinos and sportsbooks. An additional driving factor is a fact that online gambling is entirely unregulated. Illegal, sure, but a Burmese citizen arrest for playing online is practically unheard of. Unlike in countries like Turkey, Myanmar does not actively block international betting sites from being accessed by its citizens. Many offshore gambling sites and sportsbooks (licensed or otherwise) accept Burmese users. They include: