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Mizzima: Illegal Chai lottery (Thai

Illegal Chai lottery (Thai lottery) popular in Rakhine State of Burma

Mizzima News Group
Dhaka, 9th September 2000.

 Betting ?Chai? lottery is incredibly gaining popularity in Taung Kok
town of Rakhine State in Burma while local authorities benefit from this
popular Thai lottery. It has been rapidly spreading from Taung Kok town
(which is a business center, connecting mainland Burma and Rakhine
State) to other towns of Rakhine State.

According to local sources, Taung Kok town has currently more than 150
?Chai? lottery centres and it opens every fifteen days.  A lottery
ticket costs (200) Kyats to (3,000)Kyats.

People from various walks of life such as workers, farmers and even
housewives gather on the day lottery opens and one can hear all kinds of
noises and shouting on that day. As the Chai lottery flourishes,
pawnbrokers become rich and the business of selling and buying of
jewelry and other valuables has grown.

The concerned authorities too benefit from this illegal business as they
get ?Hafta (protection money)? from the lottery dens. For opening ?Chai?
lottery one time, up to total 4,000 Kyats has to be given to the
officers sitting at Township Development Council, the military
intelligence No. (10), stationed-Army Regiments (246) and (544) and
township police officers. Besides this Hafta money, some officers have
to be bribed with girls (prostitutes) who are brought from Shan-China

Since September this year, successful lottery dens have been extending
their network and lottery centres to other cities in the State such as
Tan Twe, Chyauk Phyu and Sitt Twe.