Five regional and state chief ministers in Myanmar have asked the central government to grant permission for casino operations in hotels in their respective areas, reports the Myanmar Times newspaper.
The request was purportedly made to Vice President Henry Van Thio in the capital Naypyidaw last month.
Senior officials from Mandalay, Tanintharyi, Shan, Kayin and Mon made the representation, said the outlet, citing as the source Yan Win, the chair of the Myanmar Tourism Federation.
The English-language newspaper said that under that nation’s 1986 Gambling Law, casino gambling is currently banned. But there are reportedly a number of casinos operating illegally in several of Myanmar’s traditionally more restive regions, including Shan State, which shares a border with Thailand, Laos and China’s Yunnan province.
In May 2015 it was reported by the Myanmar Times that a Singapore firm was close to signing a contract to develop a US$1.2-billion project, including a casino, on Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago.
A military junta ran Myanmar for five decades, until a quasi-civilian government with military backing came to power in 2010.
General elections held in November 2015 were reportedly the first openly-contested elections held in Myanmar since 1990.
The authorities have tried to boost the country’s underdeveloped economy by attracting foreign investors and international tourists.
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