Friday, September 22, 2017

Magwe chief minister takes aim at gambling

The Magwe Region government has launched a program to eradicate gambling, chief minister U Phone Maw Shwe told reporters late month.

Speaking at a workshop on the development of wholesale trade centres, he said gambling was “a national concern” and urged traders to cooperate with efforts to remove it.

“Especially during harvest time, a lot of [gambling] games appear and farmers get caught in vicious cycle of poverty. I want to ask traders who have links with farmers to help control the situation,” he said.

“If farmers are immersed in gambling and bet all their loans or the money they earn from cultivation we will never be able to alleviate their poverty.

“If there is gambling in your workplace, there will be bribery. Bribery will in turn lead to corruption. As corruption can harm stability and development, traders and town leaders should work together to control the situation,” the chief minister urged.

He said that those caught playing two- or three-digit lotteries, cards or gambling on the results of football matches could be arrested.

“Police have already made a large number of arrests in townships in Magwe Region,” said another member of the regional government.

“Although legal action is taken [against gambling], some still operate covertly. If administrators and town elders work with departments then I think gambling could disappear,” said an oil dealer from Magwe. – Translated by Thit Lwin