Myanmar militia leader moving into online gambling industry

Mong La, Mayanmar, is once again opening casino doors to Chinese citizens, but this time they're virtual doors rather than real ones as Internet-based casino businesses are being set up in the city.

For years China has been trying to curtail the casino business in Mong La, Myanmar. In January 2005, the casino and hotels in the city were closed down after Beijing banned its officials and citizens from traveling to Mong La. It was an effort to keep citizens from gambling as well as an effort to prevent money from being laundered through the gambling establishments.

Now, Lin Mingxian, more widely known as Sai Leun and who is thought to have funded the initial gambling industry growth in the city in the 1990s, is expanding his enterprise into online gaming. Seven new Internet-enabled gambling operations that are specifically designed and outfitted for online China-based gamers were opened in April of this year.

The new casinos are set up so gamblers in Beijing, Kunming, or Shanghai can watch the gaming tables via a live video feed over the Internet. They have to transfer funds to the casino operators' China-based bank accounts and then they can log in on the Web site to watch the games and place their bets over the phone through agents on location at the casinos.

When done, the gambler can either have his winnings wired to his account or have the agent get the cash physically from the casino.

Fourteen more similar gambling venues under construction southwest of Mong La.

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