Rise in teenage gambling as police ignore racketeers

Mar 23, 2009 (DVB), Parents of students studying in Magwe have pointed to the government's failure to punish gambling racketeers as being partly responsible for the rise in gambling addiction among youths.

The parent of a student at Magwe Medical University said that the majority of participants who were gambling were students who came to study in the town.

Gambling is illegal under Burmese law but Magwe police apparently turn a blind eye to it, said the man, whose son was forced to pawn his motorbike to pay off racketeers running the gambling businesses.

"A lot of my son's friends too had lost their motorbikes and other belongings to the racketeers and the police in town are still ignoring the situation," he said.

He added that about 30 students from Magwe Medical University had been expelled in the last semester for gambling, largely on English and Italian football. Many more had dropped out after debts and other related social problems affected their studies.

Reporting by Yee May Aung

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