Nothing says wealth like using a gold toilet; at least that’s what Chinese casino owner Kang Qiang thinks. After the online casino ban and coronavirus casino shutdown in Cambodia, Kang decided to double down by installing gold urinals in his Sihanoukville casino.
Feeling of Freedom
Locals say Sihanoukville has been a ghost town after the forced casino shutdown. First there was a ban on online casinos in Cambodia, then a land-based casino shutdown due to coronavirus.
But that didn’t stop Kang Qiang from installing gold urinals in his Sihanoukville casino. In perhaps the ultimate statement (or folly) of the super wealthy, a golden toilet fixture has to be at the top of the list. And just what is Kang trying to say during these uncertain times?
“This city is just starting, there is a lot of potential,” Kang said. “I love it…Sihanoukville gives you a feeling of freedom and no control.”
Some speculate that the feeling of freedom Kang has stems from having so much money he can waste it on superfluous construction – like gold toilets. But Kang is betting on the future of Cambodian gambling, even after crime crippled Sihanoukville and the coronavirus made it into a ghost town.
Confidence in Cambodia’s Future
Kang’s confidence in Cambodia may not be unfounded. Sihanoukville was transformed almost overnight from a sleepy backwater backpacker haunt into a thriving casino hub in Southeast Asia. But triad gang violence and blatant corruption caused Cambodian authorities – with China’s help – to shut down the casino industry. And Kang thinks the shutdown is just a blip in Cambodia’s future prosperity.
Kang and other Chinese casino investors see Cambodia as the new frontier for their investment empire. Gambling is illegal in China, so many Chinese gamblers flock to Macau, and recently, Sihanoukville. Kang is confident that the ban will lift, the virus will subside, and Chinese gambling will thrive again in Cambodia.
But the casino boom-and-bust story left a lot of Cambodian people without a proverbial pot to pee in. And maybe that’s what makes Kang’s gold toilet statement so bold.
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