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Chinese Gamblers Flock to Burma's Sin City

18 May 2004

BURMA – As reported by the UK Independent: "Burma's wild east is taking on a definite Chinese flavour. Forget about an unofficial tourism boycott called by the Burmese pro-democracy opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. There's no stopping the busloads of high-rollers, who have been banned from placing bets inside China for the past half century.

"By the end of this year, at least 200,000 tourists are expected to have crossed into the frontier town of Mong Lar alone. It is the boom town that heroin built. And now it is rapidly transforming into a bloated sin city popular with day-tripping Chinese gamblers and others eager for cut-price vice.

"Some 50 casinos have sprung up and adorn the horizon like giant neon jukeboxes. They lie just beyond the Chinese border to lure players into Shan State, an autonomous region run by ethnic guerrilla armies.

"The Chinese yuan currency flows onto the gaming tables. Purportedly, even more is laundered behind the scenes…"

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