mandag 1. juli 2019

China in Cambodia: Show me the money

Chinese man in his mid-twenties sits slouched behind a wobbly-legged table at the casino entrance, playing a game on his smartphone.  The casino isn’t large, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in strangled opulence. The beige stucco facade is thick with gold filigree, mirrored windows and a glowing sign, written in towering Chinese characters, announcing: “The God of Wealth Company International”.

The makeshift casino is not listed on Google Maps; it is meant to be found only by those who know where to look, down a dark road in the heart of Sihanoukville on the Cambodian coast. A cursory Google search reveals that the casino has developed quite a reputation despite its lack of official listing: “You don’t want to mess up here”, one writer warns on an open forum. “If you’re good, good things will come to you. If not…”. His epithet for the casino, the “God of Wrath”, finishes his sentence for him.