Legality of Gambling in Myanmar

Myanmar, a Southeast Asian nation with a rich history and diverse culture, is currently experiencing an evolving landscape when it comes to the world of gambling. The shift in the nation’s approach to gambling is both intriguing and significant, shedding light on its attempt to adapt to global trends while maintaining a grip on its traditional values.

In broad terms, gambling in Myanmar has historically been regulated with a stringent hand. A significant marker of this approach is the “Gambling Law 1986” which laid down the framework for the conduct and punishment of gambling activities in the country. However, in an effort to align its legal framework with the evolving demands of its society and economy, Myanmar introduced the “Gambling Law 2018”, superseding its predecessor. The transition indicates a shift in perspective, with the government now recognizing the potential benefits of certain gambling activities, particularly in bolstering state revenue and the local economy, as well as creating employment opportunities.

Is gambling legal in Myanmar? The answer, in short, is multifaceted. The Gambling Law 2018 establishes clear penalties for various unauthorized gambling activities, suggesting a stance that gambling, in most forms, remains illegal unless explicitly authorized by the Union Government. For instance, lotteries are permitted but can only be operated by the Inland Revenue Department under the Ministry of Planning and Finance. Additionally, while the law in its previous incarnation was silent on the matter, the newer legislation does permit the establishment of casinos under specific conditions. This is significant as it showcases the nation’s evolving stance toward embracing certain gambling activities for economic and tourism benefits.

As for online gambling in Myanmar, the waters are a bit murkier. The Gambling Law 2018 does not make direct mentions of online casinos or other virtual gambling platforms. However, given the overarching restrictions and the nature of the legal framework, one can infer that unauthorized online gambling activities are likely to be illegal, even if not explicitly detailed in the law. The challenge then lies in discerning between what’s “unauthorized” and what’s permissible, as the law is currently silent on the nuances of online gambling.

Legality of Gambling in Myanmar

Gambling Laws in Myanmar

In the lush landscapes of Myanmar, a new horizon is emerging in the realm of gambling. As the nation progresses, so do its policies, reflecting a nuanced take on gambling, both offline and online. Myanmar’s gambling landscape has transitioned from blanket prohibitions to selective authorizations, facilitated by a series of laws and regulations that have evolved over the years.

Who Grants Gambling Licences in Myanmar?

The primary authority for granting gambling licenses in Myanmar rests with the Union Government. Their oversight ensures a standardized approach to gambling establishments and practices. Furthermore, the Ministry of Planning and Finance, specifically the Inland Revenue Department, holds exclusive rights to operate lotteries within the country. The spectrum of licenses extends from traditional brick-and-mortar casinos to the evolving landscape of online gambling in Myanmar, although the latter remains ambiguous in legal literature.

How Strictly Regulated is Gambling in Myanmar?

Regulation of gambling in Myanmar is stringent. The baseline of this regulatory framework was the “Gambling Law 1986”, which was explicit in its prohibition of most gambling activities. However, recognizing the economic potentials and changing global trends, the “Gambling Law 2018” was introduced, allowing certain gambling activities under specific conditions. Notably, the 2018 law did create avenues for casinos, provided they met predetermined conditions, marking a significant shift in Myanmar gambling laws.

As for online gambling in Myanmar, the regulatory framework is not explicit. While the Gambling Law 2018 does not provide a clear outline regarding online casinos or virtual platforms, its overarching restrictions suggest unauthorized online activities would fall under the category of being illegal. Myanmar online gambling law, as it stands, leans heavily on interpretation.

For legal entities found in violation of Myanmar’s gambling laws, the penalties can be severe. Depending on the nature and extent of the infraction, entities could face significant fines or even cessation of business operations. The intent behind such punitive measures is clear: to ensure that gambling practices align with national interests, and the economic and social fabric of the country is not disrupted.

What are the Penalties for Ordinary Users as Individuals who Violate Laws of Gambling in Myanmar?

For individual violators, Myanmar’s legal framework is equally stringent. Individuals found engaging in unauthorized gambling activities could face hefty fines and, in some cases, imprisonment. The length of imprisonment and the magnitude of fines vary depending on the nature of the offense, but the message is clear: adherence to the law is imperative, whether you’re a business entity or an individual.

Amidst the myriad of evolving gambling regulations, specific markets have begun to gain traction in Myanmar, showcasing the nation’s shifting dynamics and the people’s penchant for entertainment. Betting, in particular, has solidified its position in Myanmar’s gambling landscape. Delving into this sector uncovers the nuances of both online and offline betting avenues and the preferences of the Myanmar populace.

Popular Markets of Gambling in Myanmar


The realm of betting in Myanmar, historically intertwined with the country’s rich cultural fabric, has seen an upward trajectory in recent times. With both legally sanctioned avenues and the “grey markets” operating in tandem, the betting scenario paints a vivid picture of the nation’s evolving dynamics.


Is online betting legal in Myanmar? The answer is complex. Officially, online gambling remains in a grey area in Myanmar’s legal framework. However, with the increasing penetration of the internet and mobile devices, many Myanmar residents have found their way to international online betting platforms, despite the ambiguities in the legal landscape. Football, particularly the English Premier League, reigns supreme among the online betting community. Given its global popularity and Myanmar’s colonial ties to Britain, this comes as no surprise. Other notable leagues and events that have garnered attention include the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA World Cup, with their market values witnessing a considerable surge during the seasons.


Offline betting, however, takes a different form. Traditional sports, such as lethwei (Burmese kickboxing), dominate the local betting scene. Lethwei events, a hallmark of Myanmar’s cultural identity, attract significant offline bets, with major events drawing large crowds and hefty wagers. Another significant offline betting avenue is horse racing, especially in Yangon, where the Royal Turf Club holds regular races. These events, although fewer in comparison to online football bets, hold immense cultural and historical significance, making them a preferred choice for many traditionalists.

Casino Games

Venturing into the casino landscape of Myanmar unveils a rich tapestry of preferences and cultural inclinations. Amid the grandeur and allure of brick-and-mortar casinos, there’s also a burgeoning interest in online platforms, perhaps indicative of Myanmar’s tilt towards digitization.

In the physical world of gambling in Myanmar, table games hold a significant appeal. Baccarat, an age-old card game with roots in Italy, is among the most cherished casino activities in Myanmar, its simplistic nature aligning perfectly with the preferences of both seasoned gamblers and newcomers. In addition, Poker and Roulette also hold sway, with dedicated communities converging upon casinos in major urban hubs.

Yet, the digital realm cannot be discounted. Myanmar gambling online platforms have noticed an uptick in activities like digital slot games, with their flashy graphics and promise of swift returns catching the fancy of many, especially the younger generation. This trend, while nascent, has started gaining momentum, further solidified by international online casinos targeting the Myanmar audience with local-language interfaces and region-specific offerings.

Online Lotteries

Lotteries, with their promise of vast returns from minimal investment, have always captivated the human imagination. Myanmar, too, is no stranger to this allure. While traditional lotteries have a storied history in the country, online variants are slowly carving a niche for themselves.

Though the Myanmar government officially sanctions the Aung-bar-lay lottery, a shift is palpable. Online lottery platforms, operating in the grey market, are gaining traction. These platforms, while not indigenous to Myanmar, are attracting the local populace with massive jackpots and the convenience of participation from the comfort of one’s home.

Moreover, these online platforms are innovating with quick-draw games and instant results, a stark contrast to the traditional monthly draws. Such innovations, coupled with aggressive marketing campaigns, have made online lotteries an intriguing component of Myanmar’s gambling ecosystem.

Myanmar betting sites
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What are the options for those who do want to try entertainment of Gambling in Myanmar?

For those enticed by the siren call of gambling in Myanmar, multiple avenues beckon, both within the country’s boundaries and beyond. Officially, while there are restrictions on many forms of gambling, this doesn’t mean enthusiasts are without options. Here are some paths you can explore:

Advantages of these methods include a broader selection of games, the convenience of online access, and sometimes better odds, especially on offshore platforms. However, the downsides can include potential security risks with non-reputable sites and a lack of local regulatory oversight on offshore platforms.

A reminder of responsibility

Venturing into the gambling world, it’s crucial to remember that personal responsibility is paramount. While the thrill of the game can be exhilarating, one must always be cognizant of the stakes, both financial and personal. Every decision, especially in the unregulated spaces of gambling online Myanmar, comes with its set of implications. Moreover, while it’s essential to keep track of the legal landscape, such as understanding whether is online betting legal in Myanmar, it’s equally vital to monitor one’s own behavior and spending habits.

Where can I find help in Myanmar if I have a gambling addiction?

Understanding the allure and potential pitfalls of gambling, some organizations provide aid to those struggling with addiction. While Myanmar may not have a plethora of local organizations dedicated to this cause, global bodies like Gamblers Anonymous offer support to individuals from all over the world, including Myanmar. They provide resources, guidance, and community support for those seeking to break free from the chains of addiction.

TL:DR: Legality, Laws, Markets, and Opportunities of Gambling in Myanmar

  1. Legal Landscape: Myanmar’s Gambling Law of 1986 prohibits most forms of gambling, with few exceptions like the government-backed lottery. However, there are discussions about modernizing the law to account for the digital age and its new forms of gaming and gambling.
  2. Gambling Popularity: Despite its restrictive legal stance, Myanmar’s citizens display a notable appetite for gambling. This is evident from the vibrant ‘grey market’ which functions outside the official regulatory oversight.
  3. Betting Landscape: Both online and offline betting exist, though their legality varies. Questions like “is online betting legal in Myanmar” highlight the ambiguities in the current law.
  4. Casino and Lottery Scene: Casinos, largely targeting tourists, operate in limited numbers. Meanwhile, the Aung-bar-lay lottery, sanctioned by the government, enjoys widespread popularity among locals.
  5. Online Gambling: Numerous offshore Myanmar betting sites and online casinos cater to the Myanmar audience, albeit in a gray market setting. These platforms often offer a broader range of games and betting opportunities.
  6. Responsibility and Support: Myanmar’s gambling enthusiasts should exercise personal responsibility. For those grappling with gambling addiction, international organizations like Gamblers Anonymous provide support.
  7. Conclusively: While gambling opportunities abound in Myanmar, both within official and gray market spheres, navigating the landscape requires caution, awareness of the law, and personal responsibility.

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Myanmar’s gambling scene, characterized by a blend of time-honored traditions and evolving laws, presents a multifaceted panorama. With its 1986 Gambling Law primarily framing the legal narrative, the nation witnesses a dynamic interplay between sanctioned activities like the Aung-bar-lay lottery and the burgeoning grey market. As discussions ensue to modernize these laws, Myanmar stands at the cusp of potentially embracing the digital gaming age. For enthusiasts and potential investors alike, the Myanmar gambling landscape, though intricate, offers a wealth of opportunities. Exercising prudence, staying informed, and taking personal responsibility remain pivotal as one navigates this evolving domain. The future, shaped by both tradition and innovation, looks promising for ‘Gambling in Myanmar’.

FAQ Section: Delving Deeper into Myanmar’s Gambling 

Is Online Gambling legal in Myanmar?

No, online gambling is not explicitly legal in Myanmar as of the recent legal framework. While the country’s laws are evolving, as of now, there’s no clear provision for online gambling’s legality.

Which laws and acts regulated Gambling in Myanmar?

The primary law governing gambling in Myanmar is the 1986 Gambling Law. However, there’s ongoing discussion regarding modernizing these existing regulations.

What are the penalties for Gambling in Myanmar?

Penalties for illegal gambling in Myanmar can range from fines to imprisonment, based on the severity of the offense and whether it’s a repeat violation.

Are there any penalties for using offshore sites for Gambling in Myanmar?

The 1986 Gambling Law doesn’t specifically address offshore gambling. However, engaging in unsanctioned gambling activities could potentially lead to penalties.

Is it safe to use cryptocurrencies for Gambling in Myanmar?

Using cryptocurrencies for gambling falls in a grey area. While there’s no direct regulation about cryptocurrencies and gambling, it’s advisable to proceed with caution.

What local services are available to help people with addiction of Gambling in Myanmar?

Myanmar offers several local organizations and helplines to support individuals battling gambling addiction, ensuring they receive the necessary guidance and assistance.

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Minato Jung

The core team of content creators at Asian Bookies consists of two people: Minato Jung, serving as the Chief Editor and CEO of, and Natsuo Takeda, who holds the positions of Tech-CEO and Chief of the testing team for bookie sites and casinos.

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