One of China’s richest businessmen has been selected to lead a new, capitalist-style special administrative region in communist North Korea. Yang Bin, 39, told a news conference in the North Korean capital Pyongyang on Monday that he would be chief executive of the special financial and commercial zone of Sinuiju, on the border with China.
`The free trade zone, to be built in the northwestern corner of the country, would have its own legislature, more than half of whom will be foreigners, and its own courts with a European as chief judge, Yang said.
The main businesses in the zone will be industry, finance and processing and US dollars will be used as its currency. Gambling will also be permitted, and punters from China are a key target – with casinos illegal on the Chinese mainland.
A wall will be erected to divide the capitalist region from the rest of the hitherto isolationist country, and 500,000 current residents of the area will be forced to move to other parts of North Korea over the next two years.
The North Korean government issued statements last week that it wanted to turn the region, currently a poor agricultural and industrial area, into an international financial, industrial and tourist hub. The Special Administrative regions in China – Hong Kong and Macau – are seen as a model for the North Korean government. Macau in particular is seen as a model for the gambling industry in the region.
A state-by-state look at recent gambling-related developments
On Nov. 5, Tennessee voters will decide whether to establish a lottery in their state, which is now one of only three with no legalized Keluaran Hk gambling. Here is a brief look at recent gambling-related developments in some other states:
* ARIZONA: Voters will choose Nov. 5 among three gambling-related ballot items. Two seek to continue casino-style gambling only on Indian reservations, the third would allow racetracks to operate slot machines.
* CALIFORNIA: The U.S. Department of Interior has approved a Northern California Indian tribe’s site for a $215-million casino near Sacramento. Northern Nevada casino operators fear the casino might siphon away customers.
* CONNECTICUT: Impressed by the success of two huge tribal casinos in southeastern Connecticut, other Indian groups are seeking to open casinos of their own. State officials plan to appeal federal recognition of the Eastern Pequots that would allow that tribe to open what would be Connecticut’s third casino.
* HAWAII: Proposals to introduce gambling in Hawaii surface constantly, but have yet to gain government approval. Two casino proposals died in a legislative committee earlier this year.
* IDAHO: Voters will pass judgment Nov. 5 on a ballot item that would explicitly legalize more than 2,000 electronic gambling machines already in use on Indian reservations.
* MAINE: The Penobscot and Passamaquoddy tribes are pushing to open Maine’s first casino. The most recent poll indicates support for the project in economically depressed northern Maine, and skepticism in the wealthier, more populous south, where the tribes hope to locate the casino.
* MICHIGAN: Gov. John Engler has approved a deal allowing an Indian casino on nontribal land in Port Huron, 55 miles north of Detroit. Michigan already has Indian casinos, but the new one would be the closest to Detroit’s three commercial casinos. Michigan also will start holding lottery drawings on Sundays; it had been one of 10 states with drawings only six days a week.
* MISSOURI: A Minnesota developer is proposing to build a $100-million floating casino on southern Missouri’s Lake Taneycomo. The project would require a constitutional amendment, since the state now limits casinos to riverboats on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.
* NEBRASKA: Pro-gambling forces tried to get a proposal onto the Nov. 5 ballot that would have legalized video slot machines, but a district judge knocked it off the ballot on technical grounds.
* NEW JERSEY: Horse breeders and owners are urging legislators to allow slot machines at the state’s few remaining racetracks.
* NEW YORK: Seneca Indians have started renovations on a convention center in Niagara Falls they intend to turn into a casino in 2003, pending federal approval. They can open up to two more casinos in western New York under a 2001 gambling bill, and Indians can establish up to three more casinos in the Catskills.
* NORTH CAROLINA: By a 69-50 vote on Sept. 17, the state House of Representatives rejected a bill that would have set up a Nov. 5 referendum on whether to create a state lottery.
* NORTH DAKOTA: Voters will decide Nov. 5 whether the state will join a multistate lottery. North Dakota has tribal casinos, but is one of 12 states without a lottery.
* WISCONSIN: In a nonbinding referendum Nov. 5, voters in Wausau will be asked whether the city should encourage the Ho-Chunk tribe to develop a Las Vegas-style casino.