Martin Saxer alerted me to a number of news reports, including this one in the Bangkok Post, on a Lao government announcement that the Golden Boten casino has been close by the government following reports of criminal activity, and the new investor will develop tourism in the area. This seems like claiming credit for that the earlier closure of the Boten casino last year under Chinese government pressure. But it might also be a confirmation that the Special Economic Zone will continue operating. The question is how the new government of the zone, formerly delegated by the earlier investor, will be constituted. The same news items also say that the other big casino, in the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone, won’t be affected.
Meanwhile, a Forbes journalist writes that “the Cambodian government sold off more than 130 square miles of a national park to a Chinese developer, Tianjin Union Development Group,” which is “planning a city-sized $3.8 billion complex with a casino, a dock for cruise ships, and an international airport.” Sounds exactly like the Golden Triangle. This is, on paper, the largest foreign investment in Cambodia to date. It was approved by the Cambodian government back in 2008, and concerns a beach in Kirisakor and Botomsakor districts, Koh Kong Province.