Local Women Oppose Gambling in Shan State’s Kutkai

The presence of gambling shops contributes to insecurity and crime in the area, the women say.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Women from Kutkai have tried to close six gambling shops in the northern Shan State township, saying that they contribute to insecurity and crime in the area.

The women, from Ward 8, reported their demands to the quarter administrator on September 12, and spoke to the owners of the gaming and gambling shops themselves on September 16.

“Our husbands and students have turned to bad behavior. Some people have stolen things from our houses,” a local Kutkai woman said, speaking to NMG on the condition of anonymity. “There are many heroin and opium addicts in our town. We feel there is insecurity in our area. That’s why we are trying to stop those game shops,” she added.

Other women said that they were met with resistance and intimidation when they tried to get the gambling shops to close. Shop owners replied that they had “good relations with the authorities,” and women told NMG that a confrontation ensued between those opposing the shops and the owners.

“Our area was very peaceful before the gambling shops were set up in our town…Now we can’t leave our houses unlocked. Our property has been stolen. I feel there is no safety in our area,” the anonymous Kutkai woman told NMG.

Many gambling shops remain in Kutkai’s Ward 3, 6, and near the Loi Samsip mountain base and the Kho Long area.

Locals say that if law enforcement doesn’t take action against the gambling shops, they will continue their monitoring and try to shut down the shops themselves.

“If the authorities won’t try to close those gambling game shops, should the people try it? Let us know,” the woman speaking anonymously said.