Empty casino in Mong La

Mong La: Business as Usual in the China-Myanmar Borderlands

Empty casino in Mong La

This empty casino in Mong La town, guarded by a single warden, is also a relic of the past. When Martin started taking pictures, the warden stormed out of his booth with a bowl of noodle soup in his hands, telling us that photography was prohibited on the premises. The casino shut down in the context of the Chinese government’s crackdown on gambling, which followed the loss of several million yuan by the daughter of a high-ranking Chinese official in 2003 and reports of Chinese government employees gambling with public funds. In 2005, Chinese troops shut down the casinos in Mong La. Shortly thereafter, however, Chinese investors and Mong La’s elite began rebuilding the casinos ten miles south of town.