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Burmese Military Allows Casinos to Open in Three Pagodas Pass

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By Independent Mon News Agency – The Burmese military has allowed the opening of casinos by Three Pagodas Pass residents with the caveat in which casino owners must pay a tax for the permission to open.

Mon sources report that Thein Zaw, tactical commander from the Military Operation Command No. 8, has given permission to open casinos but only allowing the opening from those owners who pay bribes.

Gambling is illegal in Burma. However, the commander said that he permitted gambling from February 23rd to the first of March to gather funding for his military command.

Thu Rain, a Three Pagodas Pass resident said that there is no benefit from the business [after taxes], but no one has dared say this to the authorities.

“We heard that he [Thein Zaw] demanded 30,000 baht as taxes from casino owners per night,” said Thu Rain.

According to Thu Rain, this is the first time that the military has allowed gambling in Three Pagodas Pass.

Three different casinos have opened. The first has Nee Taung (a Burmese game of tops with colors on the two different sides) with ten tables in the casino. The second casino, Ann Ka Lon, plays a Burmese version of dice with animals instead of numbers, and has 70 tables, while the last casino provides four card tables.

Burmese authorities have demanded 1,000 baht for each Nee Taung game, and 300 baht for each Ann Ka Lon game, and 150 baht per card game.

Commander Thein Zaw began governance of Three Pagodas Pass in September 2010. Compared to commanders before he has remained in governance for the longest period of time.

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