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Odds Against North Korean Casino as China Stops Flow of 'dirty cash'

7 March 2005

NORTH KOREA -- As reported by the (British) Telegraph: "The Stalinist dictatorship of North Korea has few sources of income, according to the CIA, and what cash it does generate comes from the likes of Scud missiles sold abroad, counterfeit currency and drugs.

"By comparison, the Emperor Casino the state opened amid the abject poverty in Raijin appeared to be respectability itself.

"But now the casino lies empty, the snow piling up around its grand entrance. When China banned its citizens from visiting on discovering that local officials were smuggling embezzled cash across the border, there were no other customers.

"...Koreans were not allowed to enter the casino, managed by a Hong Kong conglomerate and opened in 1999, unless they worked there. Employees paid 70 per cent income tax.

"...It flourished for one reason: gambling in China is banned, and as the country has got wealthier, more Chinese have gone elsewhere to pursue what remains a national passion..."

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