Chinese Company Bets Big on Laos Casino Project

Near the famed golden triangle where Laos, Thailand and Burma meet, a Chinese company plans to turn huge tracts of jungle and farmland once associated with the opium trade into a tourism magnet. The company, Kings Romans, says it is building a new economy, anchored in part by a glittering new casino.

The Chinese-run Kings Romans’ casino is one of the most noticeable and flashy features on the Lao side of the Mekong River’s Golden Triangle.

Kings Romans signed a 99-year lease with the Lao government to develop and run a special economic zone in a stretch of rural land spanning more than 100 square kilometers.

The plans are ambitious. “Here will be the airport. Here will be the industrial zone. Here will be a bridge to connect with Thailand and Burma. The whole project will be finished within the next 20 years,” explains a staff member while pointing at a map.

For now, the future airport runway is still just a road.

But construction is brisk and workers are chopping down forests and flattening hills.

Hundreds of people displaced by the building have already been relocated, and given new houses in the recently opened Golden Triangle Village.

During a recent gathering for a funeral, new residents played cards, gambled and talked about life in the company-built village.

Ouy Kham says there are not enough trees, making it too hot to grow food. Her children now farm in Thailand to make money. “In the old village we had income but coming to this village we only spend money. We don’t know what to sell to earn a living. Living here we cannot grow anything. We try to grow vegetables but they are not healthy,” she said.

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As Kings Romans’ remakes the Golden Triangle’s skyline, there are new jobs for workers with the right skills.

Burmese laborer Khun Kyar Kan has been working in the special economic zone for three years. Even though the pay is better than back home, he says there are drawbacks. “In Burma I worked in farming. It was my own job and I could set my own working schedule… Here I am always worried about losing my job because I cannot find another job. There is only one company here,” he said.

For now, trade ships and fishermen are the picture of life here on the Mekong River.

But Kings Romans is betting hundreds of millions of dollars that Asia’s growing wealthy will soon join them as a fixture of the scenic and notorious Golden Triangle.

Daniel Schearf

One Response to "Chinese Company Bets Big on Laos Casino Project"

  1. Cimcrebekahzheng   May 13, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Dear Sir/Madam,We are CIMC(China International Marine Containers (Group) Co., Ltd).which is one of Chinese biggest special truck companies. It mainly professional in heavy duty truck,light duty truck,special truck such as refrigerated truck,tank truck,garbage truck oil tank truck and refrigerated truck body,dry van body,cold storage room.

    Our products have ever been exported to America, Africa, Oceania, South America. Nowadays, Our company emphasizes on Laos market because of the very big market potential here. 

    It is very expected for us to find a cooperator in Laos. On 20th May, our sales director and engineers are going to Laos to inspect market and visit our clients there. If possible, please give me your contact, I will ask them to visit you.

    If you have interest on this program, email me or call me pls, let’s talk more in detail. E-catalogues will be sent if needed.
    Wish future cooperation with you.
    Best Regards,
    Rebekah Zheng
    CICM Vehicle (ShanDong) Co.Ltd
    Tel: 86-531-86109991 Fax:86-531-86101306 Mobile:8613791056009
    Email: [email protected]

    电话:86-531-86109991 传真:86-531-86101306 手机8613791056009
    邮箱:[email protected]


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