Illicit and State-Sanctioned Gambling Explode Across East Asia

Illicit and State-Sanctioned Gambling Explode Across East Asia

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Gambling is illegal in China, but Macau, the special administrative enclave on the coast of Guangdong province, is this year expected to outstrip the United States' Las Vegas Strip with casino revenue turnover of about $7 billion.

The explosive growth of casino gambling in the tiny former Portuguese colony is yet another staggering statistic that illustrates the story of China's breakneck development.

Macau has been transformed in a few short years from a relatively sleepy, rather quaint oddity on the South China Sea into a brash waterfront of ugly, modern casino "resorts" that smother the old colonial architecture so carefully restored by Portugal before the handover to China in 1999.

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