The dark world of Chinese casinos on Sino-Burma border (special)

Buildings in Maijayang casino in Burmese territory on the China-Burma.

Days ahead the Chinese New Year on January 26, 2009, thousands of Chinese gamblers are gambling at the Chinese owned casinos in Burmese territory on the Sino-Burma border, said sources.The people in Maijayang (Mai Ja Yang) Casino told KNG today, thousands of Chinese still gamble in the casino even though the Chinese New Year is close. Very few Chinese gamblers have gone back to their homes.

Maijayang Casino is owned by Chinese businessmen in Maijayang border business village under the controlled area of a Kachin insurgent group the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), which signed a ceasefire agreement with the Burmese ruling junta. It is currently one of the biggest casinos in China’s southwestern border with military-ruled Burma.

Every day, over 10,000 people, mainly Chinese from different areas in China including Beijing, Shanghai, Hunan, Henan and Hong Kong play at Maijayang casino which is open 24 hours, according to residents of Maijayang.

The KIO has hired out the land to the Maijayang casino site to Chinese businessmen under a 30-year contract signed between the KIO and Chinese businessmen in 2000. But, people started to gamble in the casino in Maijayang since 2002. Last year, Chinese businessmen took an extra 80 acres of land for the casino from KIO at the same place.

At the moment, Maijayang casino is one of the most crowded on the border. However the number of rich-businessmen has dropped among the gamblers compared to 2008 because of a rise in murder and suicide, said Maijayang sources. continue

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