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Casino de Genting

This is the one and only land based casino in Malaysia It is located at the top of Genting Highland 2000 meters above sea level . Full of glitter and excitement , the atmosphere is best described as electrifying. Casino de Genting offers a host of exciting international games, among the more popular of which are: Roulette, Keno, Baccarat and Blackjack. Jackpot machines are the added attractions. International class shows and live entertainment provide the accompanying glitz and glamour. The casino is located at Kuala Lumpur, 50250 Malaysia. The phone number is 32613833 should you require more detailed information. Casino de Gentino is also online at ..., Casino de Genting

Casino proliferation in Asia sparks debate

By DEUTSCHE PRESSE AGENTUR 

Tuesday, 17 April 2001

BANGKOK - While betting on everything from cock fights to European football matches is a universal pasttime in Asia, many countries - including China, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Thailand - still face deep-rooted cultural and political opposition to legalizing gambling.

Increasingly, however, the region's governments have been allowing casinos to set up on their territories, usually as a means of attracting tourists and reaping hefty license fees.

The trend has raised questions of whether legalized gambling does less social damage than when such activities are left to the underworld. Another question is whether the increase in licensed Asian casinos will lead to a rise in regional money laundering. 

"Right now there's only one country (in the region) that's properly regulated and that's Australia," said Anthony Cabot, a gambling industry lawyer with the US legal firm Lionel, Sawyer and Collins based in Sydney. 

"In an unregulated environment you can get a license cheaply but that only gives you a license that has no trust or background checks," he opined.

Lack of proper regulation has not stopped the Asian casino boom. 

India took a tentative stab at legalized gambling earlier this year when it allowed a casino ship to drop anchor off the coast of former Portuguese enclave of Goa. 

The floating casino opened in January, amid widespread public criticism, and was shut down on March 28 by customs officials for non-payment of excise taxes. 

In Taiwan, Premier Chang Chun-huing has hinted that his government was mulling allowing casinos to be set up on Penghu, as a means of attracting tourism and investments to the island. 

Predominantly Moslem Malaysia has allowed one legal casino - Casino de Genting - at the Genting Highlands hilltop resort since 1971. The casino is offlimits to Moslems and the government has no plans to issue licenses for new gambling meccas. 

Thailand, where casinos are illegal, has managed to scratch its gambling itch by allowing a dozen casinos to blossom along its borders in its less developed neighbors Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar (Burma). 

While all the border casinos are outside Thai territory, the majority are Thai-owned and 99 per cent of the customers are Thai. 

Even communist Vietnam has jumped on the bandwagon, having opened the Do Son Casino in the workaday northern port town of Haiphong, almost a decade ago.

The casino is jointly owned by the state-owned Van Hoa Tourism Service Company and UIP Ltd, headed by Stanley Ho, of Macau casino fame.

The project's deputy manager, Nguyen Chi Trung, although claiming that business was on the rise, said the government has no intention to provide any more licenses for casinos in the country. 

Macau, however, remains Asia's unrivaled casino center.

"Of course, there will be competition with a growing number of casinos being opened up throughout Asia," said Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau (STDM) - the company owned by tycoon Stanley Ho - holds the monopoly on gambling in Macau with 10 casinos. 

"But given its own long experience in the gambling industry, and its unique cultural characteristics of East and West, I believe that Macau will continue to survive as a favorite place," said a STDM spokesman.

While Macau can look forward to a growing market in neighboring China, where gambling is still illegal, they have arguably already lost some ground among Southeast Asian casino addicts.

"We used to get high rollers from Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore coming," said Michael Swing, floor manager of the famous Lisboa Casino. "Since the financial crisis, it's changed. We don't get many from Thailand anymore. Now the high-rollers come from China and Taiwan.

According to Macau tourism statistics, the number of Thais visiting the enclave dropped off 66 per cent between 1996 and 2000, from 72,000 to 24,000. Hong Kong Chinese visitors also dropped from 5.5. million to 4.9 million in the same period. 

Meanwhile, mainland Chinese visitors to Macau increased from 607,000 in 1996 to 2.2 million last year, and the number of Taiwanese jumped from 760,000 to 1.3 million. 

Macau, a territory of 23.8 square kilometers, derives most of its revenues from gambling, and certainly highlights the material benefits of the industry.

But with the emergence of many smaller casino centers in Asia, there are growing concerns about their lack of regulation. 

"What I'm afraid of is that these casinos along our borders will serve as drug money laundering centers," said Kraisak Choonhavan, chairman of the Thai Senate committee of foreign affairs.

His fears are heightened by the fact that most of the casinos along Thailand's borders are owned by influential Thai businessmen with high-level political connections. 

"These influential people have access to political parties and contribute to campaign financing, which requires unaccountable money, especially cash," said Kraisak. 

Even well-regulated Australia has been unable to prevent money laundering at its casinos.

Last year, three of the country's highest rollers at Sydney's posh Star City Casino, were arrested on charges of drug trafficking. Duong Van Ia, a full time heroin dealer, was found to have put 96 million dollars through the casino in 1996.

Australian police have noticed that in drug raids of Sydney premises they often turn up casino gambling chips - evidence that the chips are a recognized currency among traffickers.

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