Online Gambling Goes Big in Burma
By Miriam H
Online gambling is truly becoming a global pastime as Burma joins the list of countries revelling in the unprecedented growth of internet wagering.

Even with authorities’ strong opposition to the industry, and concerted attempts to make it illegal, online gambling has grown to become a multimillion kyat business among Burma’s elite.

The country’s bookmakers have lived with the threat of hefty legal penalties to cater to a growing number of Burmese bettors who want to enjoy football and gambling simultaneously. Online bookmakers have also smoothed over stumbling blocks such as the lack of a credit card system by carrying out cash-only operations.

Mandalay bookmaker Aung Ko told the country’s Irrawaddy newspaper that roughly 20 regular customers place bets with him worth 80 million kyat (US $62,400) on a weekly basis. The minimum accepted by the bookmaker is 100,000 kyat (about $90).

Aung Ko confimed that he is o¬ne of a minimum of four Mandalay bookmakers operating their businesses over the Internet.

“My business has made me very rich in a short period,” he said.

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