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Chinese are Main Customers at Korean Casinos

5 January 2005

CHINA – As reported by the China Daily: "Chinese tourists, including some Party and government officials, are squandering hundreds of millions of yuan each year at a North Korean five-star hotel and casino, state media said on Wednesday.

"Every day, more than 100 Chinese travel across the Tumen River to the neighbouring Rajin-Sonbong Free Trade Zone to gamble in the Hong Kong-built Emperor Hotel and Casino, the Beijing News said.

"…Gambling, along with prostitution and drugs, are illegal in China. While still officially illegal, betting at horsetracks has reemerged and Chinese regularly place their bets on soccer teams. Casinos are the lifeblood of tiny Macao, which returned from Portuguese to Chinese rule in 1999.

"…Gambling in North Korea has become a hot topic in China since a Chinese official was found to have fled after squandering 3.5 million yuan (US$423,000) in public and borrowed money on gambling junkets to the same casino last month.

"…About 50,000 Chinese -- some 30 percent of whom are officials -- visit the Emperor every year, with each of them spending at least 5,000 yuan, the paper cited Yanbian's anti-corruption official as saying…"

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