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Fighting illegal gambling with legal casinos

Trans. by B.DULGUUN

Prohibiting gambling in Mongolia has driven Mongolian big shots to become regular guests of U.S. and South Korean casinos. It may even be challenging to find a Mongolian politician who’s never been to a casino. People say Mongolians become gamblers when they cross the border. However, the main thing the police should monitor is whose money these high rollers are gambling with.
Last Friday, the Criminal Police Department caught high stakes gamblers red-handed while they were running games at Voyage Hotel, near Ulaanbaatar Railway Station. President of Max Group D.Ganbaatar, Department Head of the Ministry of Mining Ch.Tsogtbaatar, and Former MP D.Zagdjav were playing poker when the police arrived. Many would say that a big commotion is unnecessary, as it doesn’t matter what rich people do with their wealth.
The law prohibits gambling but even young people working in markets play card games with stakes. Not to mention middle school children who play poker. Do Mongolian law enforcement agencies have the time to pursue everyone playing card games? Mongolians have been gambling with small and big bets for a long time and it’s clear they will continue playing card games in the future. The idiom “The blind leading the blind” would perfectly define people who are now looking down at gamblers.
It’s appropriate to not only arrest but also convict those who have gambled with the nation’s money in foreign countries. For example, MPs T.Badamjunai, G.Zandanshatar and U.Khurelsukh, and deputy accountant of Mongol Bank Ch.Chimedtseren were implicated in a large sum of cash going missing from the Savings Bank of Mongolia.
Whether it’s better to confine and monitor gambling is also something to consider. Arresting and imprisoning gamblers forces them to become more secretive and hidden, rather than deterring them from gambling. There probably isn’t anyone who can state the exact number of places to gamble in the city. It’s clear that as long as there’s a desire for gambling, games will be operated in hiding somewhere. Besides escaping taxation, these places will keep law enforcement officials ignorant of what happens inside. It’s said that the more something is hidden, the more danger it brings.
Most Mongolians put gambling in the same category as drugs, crime, and money laundering. Many countries across the world are earning massive amounts of money from casinos. Drug addicts, prostitutes and alcoholics aren’t thought of as going to resort casinos, but elites with millions of USD in their pockets do visit for fun. A casino isn’t a brothel, drug den, or a place for sheltering criminals, as many Mongolians may believe, and this fact should be very well known to most Mongolian politicians, who are almost regular guests of U.S. and South Korean casinos.
Gamblers “gift” six billion USD to Singapore every year and South Korea makes two billion USD a year from their casinos. Las Vegas is said to generate revenue of 200 billion USD annually. These statistics may not be surprising but it would be a huge mistake to believe that there isn’t a single gambling venue in Mongolia.
There’s a saying that sophisticated legislation will lead to more sophisticated theft.
Five years ago, Former MP D.Zagdjav and his followers initiated a law to open limited liability casinos, but it was unsuccessful. Now, issues about establishing casinos are being raised again in free economic zones. Mongolians may have reasons to fear casinos, but if they are set up with proper regulations, a legal environment, and controlled communication from the start, it could positively affect our economy directly dependent on foreign investment. If a Mongolian casino is opened, tourism and employment will increase and make it possible to shift the flow of millions of USD heading to foreign casinos back into Mongolia.
Mongolia has quite a few maniacs who play and gamble as much as big time foreign players. Even if we can’t bring foreign players, at least we shouldn’t lose domestic high rollers to foreign casinos and receive tax from their recreation. Providing them with an appropriate legal environment will expose illegal gambling operations, which the police haven’t found. They will start to pay taxes accordingly to the law, and it would become possible to monitor whose money people are gambling with. The police will also have no reason to go through the trouble of inspecting every room in a hotel just because they received a report that someone’s gambling.
Most importantly, specific legal guidelines should be initially set up and supervision should be provided so that casinos don’t become a den for some sort of criminal organization, mafia, money laundering, or gamblers who play with state money.
At least the fellows caught playing at Voyage Hotel would be able to play without shame or embarrassment, while paying taxes to play and have fun with their money.
If Mongolia wants to attract funds to free economic zones, then build casinos there. The more time police spend conducting arrests and investigations, the higher the chances of free economic zones turning into dens for criminals and drug addicts becomes. Why shouldn’t Mongolia create its own Las Vegas?

Source: www.news.mn/content/196398.shtml

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=12647

Posted by on Nov 25 2014. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

1 Comment for “Fighting illegal gambling with legal casinos”

  1. As long as you make money you wont stop at nothing. If casinos open in Mongolia theres no guarante we can create Las Vegas, but it guarantees spread of drugs and diseases by prostitutes. We would see crime increase. It will make money ofcourse, but for who? Sociaty wont bennefit at all.

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