Sihanoukville, Cambodian magnet for Chinese casinos, loses its pull, leaving thousands owed money and unable to move on

Thousands of Chinese construction workers left unpaid and stranded as work on half-built Chinese casinos comes to a halt following August ban on online gambling.

fter passing through loose security at the entrance of WM Casino, in neon-flashing downtown Sihanoukville, the floor opens onto a dozen or so smiling women in tight black dresses, at Vegas-style, green-felt gaming tables. They deal cards in view of webcams, while on a nearby monitor, online avatars of remote gamblers appear to be placing bets.

Towards the back of the casino, a floor manager overseeing the opera­tions from a glass-walled room emerges and quickly denies they are providing online gambling for players outside the casino.

“We absolutely don’t do any online gambling,” he insists, saying the system on view is a closed circuit, meant to serve players at other locations in the casino.

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