Casino Resorts as Micro-Para-Statal Areas in the GMSR: Connectivity and Economic Development

Walsh, J 2016, 'Casino Resorts as Micro-Para-Statal Areas in the GMSR: Connectivity and Economic Development', The Myanmar Journal, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 21-31.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Casino Resorts as Micro-Para-Statal Areas in the GMSR: Connectivity and Economic Development
Author(s) Walsh, J
Year 2016
Journal name The Myanmar Journal
Volume number 3
Issue number 1
Start page 21
End page 31
Total pages 11
Publisher The Myanmar Journal
Abstract Several types of para-statal areas exist in different parts of the Greater Mekong subregion (GMSR). These are areas in which different versions of the rule of law apply than in normal parts of the country. Para-statal areas can be formal in nature, as in the case of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) that are used to help propel nations along the trajectory of the Factory Asia paradigm. Other para-statal areas are informal in nature and represent territories where the rule of law is partially or wholly-imposed by non-state actors. These range from areas in Myanmar where insurgent ethnic minority groups have established autonomous zones, to areas in Laos where Chinese capital has been used to create areas of cowboy capitalism, where the rule of law is enforced by the owners of capital, usually in collusion with representatives of the state, who benefit personally as a result. There are no examples of the latter form of para-statal area offering better workpace safety conditions or labour relations more generally. On the contrary, workers are generally subject to exploitative conditions with little guarantee of receiving due reward for their labour and no rights to collective bargaining or freedom of association. This is generally true of the casino resort micro-para-statal areas of the GMSR that are mostly located on the borders of Thailand with Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, as well as special resorts created for Chinese visitors to Vietnam. Casinos offer employment but few good jobs and a significant proportion of those jobs are associated with indecent work. Only croupier work is valued. Most jobs are low-paid, low-skilled service sector jobs with little security or career paths. They are also often associated with drug smuggling and usage, sex work of various categories and money laundering. This does not necessarily mean that the lives of workers in resorts are materially worse than all other workers in formal sector SEZs, as the recent protests by female Cambodian
Subject Urban Sociology and Community Studies
Keyword(s) Casino resorts
Greater Mekong Subregion
Para-statal areas
Informal economy
ISSN 2383-6563
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