The raid comes as a new law aims to tighten restrictions on Burmese gamblers, but still allows foreigners to indulge at approved casinos.
Police in the eastern Shan State town of Tachilek arrested four people Sunday night in a raid on a gambling house near the Bayintnaung Market in Wan Kawng Ward.
The raid took place around 10pm on June 9 and netted more than 40,000 baht (US$1,275) in coins. Police also seized six gambling machines and arrested three men and one woman.
The arrested individuals were identified as Shin Sha, 32, Bay Win Thein, 19, Thura Aung, 22 and Thiri Oo, 21. They were charged under sections 16 (a) and 17 (a) of the Gambling Act.
There are many such gambling houses in the border town, known locally as “sharks”. They are blamed for a host of social ills, from corrupting local youths to breaking up married couples.
“Personally, I’m all in favor of the police shutting down every single one of these gambling dens. They’re everywhere in Tachilek. When one gets busted, another opens on the sly. The police know where they’re operating,” Tachilek resident Sai Lon told SHAN.
Despite their habit of returning after each raid, Sai Lon said it was good to crack down on the gambling houses, because at least it put them out of commission for a while.
Burma’s President Win Myint signed a new law on gambling on May 7 aimed at tightening restrictions on all forms of gambling by Burmese citizens. The new law does, however, permit foreigners to gamble in registered casinos.
According to the new gambling law, Burmese citizens found in gambling establishments face immediate arrest. The law also rewards citizens who report illegal gambling dens to the police, and gives even greater rewards to those whose information results in the arrest of offenders.