VietNamNet Bridge – Thousands of Vietnamese women have become familiar clients of casinos along the Vietnam-Cambodia border.
There are 14 casinos in Cambodia, which are located very near from the Vietnam-Cambodia border. Up to half of them (Winn, Le Macao, Chateau, Las Vegas Sun or Titan King) are built in Bavet in Svay Rieng province to mainly serve Vietnamese gamblers. Vietnamese gamblers, including thousands of women, often pass the Moc Bai border gate in the southern province of Tay Ninh to Bavet.
VietNamNet’s reporters visited casino Winn at 10 am on a Saturday. This casino is known recently for ruthless assaults against indebted gamblers.
According to the casino’s rules, visitors are not allowed to bring cell phones, cameras, sound recorders, etc. into the casino. These items must be locked in the casino’s safety boxes. Casino staffs in black trousers and white shirts always smile with customers.
The casino was chock-a-block with gamblers, especially at baccarat, roulette and black jack tables.
Casino Winn, a popular destination in the tours of a transnational tourism company, is decorated luxuriously. The rooms are lit with hundreds of lamps, which make gamblers forget the time.
Around one hour after we entered the casino, the number of players at black jack tables increased sharply. Around 70 percent of them were women.
A middle-aged woman approached us, introducing herself as Hien, a Vietnamese, a creditor at the casino. Hien said she was able to lend us as much as we need. After we refused to borrow money from her, M, a guide said that if a gambler borrows $100, he will have to pay $10 for each winning game. In the case that the gambler loses all his money, the creditor will send his/her employees to escort the debtor to his/her home to take money or call the debtor’s family to come to the casino to pay the debt to ransom the debtor.
There are a lot of tragedies related to Vietnamese women at this casino. Hoang, a former staff member at casino Winn, who currently works for a car repair shop in Bavet, said, “Many Vietnamese women often give guards VND50,000-70,000 to remind them to call their husbands at a certain time to trick their husbands into thinking that they are at home”.
Hoang said some women lost tens of thousands of USD a day at gambling.
Recently HCM City People’s Court sentenced four women who swindled assets to gamble in Cambodia. One was sentenced to 13 years in jail and three others to 3-5 years in jail.
These women leased at least six cars at the price of $1300/month and then mortgaged the cars for $15,000 in Tay Ninh to gamble in Cambodian casinos.
In the latest case, the wife of a journalist in the southern province of Long An has just confessed to burning her husband to death after he didn’t agree to sell their house to pay her debts at casinos in Cambodia.
This case is now the center of public attention and is fresh evidence of the tragedies caused by women who are gambling addicts.
In recent years “gambling ladies” have become familiar words in the local media. In HCM City alone, police investigated hundreds of gambling cases each year and over half of the gamblers are women.
According to police, women who gamble at home belong to various social classes but there are a few really rich women. However, most of women who gamble in Cambodia are wealthy women or state employees.
In 2008, the cashier of the Post Office of Bac Lieu province was sentenced to death for appropriating over VND15.3 billion ($765,000) to gamble.
In October 2009, Vu Thi Ba, 32, an employee of a state agency in Ha Dong district, Hanoi, was prosecuted for appropriating a car for money to gamble.
In HCM City, a woman named Trang is very “famous” among casino ladies. The young girl gambled in Hanoi, Hai Phong, HCM City, Tay Ninh and Cambodia. She lost up to $40,000 a night at a casino in Cambodia.
She used fake documents to withdraw over VND400 million ($20,000) of a joint stock company in Hanoi.
In May 2010, police arrested Nguyen Thi Hanh, 32, in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai for swindling. Earlier Hanh was a famous coffee trader in Gia Lai. From July to November 2009, this women received cash from partners to purchase coffee and borrowed money from four companies and eleven individuals totaling over VND17 billion (around $900,000). However, she only paid over VND5 billion for coffee and gambled away the remaining cash.
Dozens of gamblers in Binh Duong and Tay Ninh province fell into the trap of usurers at casinos in Cambodia.
According to victims who were cleaned out in gambling and ransomed by their families, intermediates introduced them to a young man named Khoa at Winn casino in Bavet, Cambodia. When they arrived at the Moc Bai border gate in Tay Ninh, Khoa’s subordinates took them to the casino and they were treated like special guests.
Nguyen Huu Ba, 20, from Ben Cat district, Binh Duong province, recalled: “After we met with Khoa at Winn casino, he hired a hotel room for us. After taking a bath, Khoa took us to a restaurant. He told us that we would not get rich if we quit after 1-2 losing games”.
When Ba and his friends were nearly drunken Khoa paid the meal and gave $4000 to Ba and his three friends to gamble at Winn casino.
After several hours at the casino, the group lost all $4000. They borrowed $2000 from Khoa to continue the game and also lost the money. They asked Khoa to lend them some more but Khoa told them to temporarily stop because they had bad luck. He took the group to a restaurant for lunch and after that forced them to an inn to sign a debit note. Khoa said that if their families didn’t pay the debts, he would cut out some of their internal organs.
Of dozens Vietnamese gamblers confided at Winn casino for losing at gambling, many are very poor and wanted to change their lives with the money won.
Nguyen Thi Dung, 41, from Ben Cat District, Binh Duong province said that her family has three times paid $10,000 of ransom to rescue her son from casinos .
Nguyen Minh, also from Ben Cat district, had to pay the ransom for his son twice. “The first time he was confided, we had to mortgage our motorbikes, fridge, television set and borrow from usurers to get $5000 to pay the ransom”.
“They called me and said that they made cuts on his face and that if I didn’t save him, they would cut out his kidney,” Minh said.
Minh and his wife had to see an usurer and kneel down to borrow $3000 to pay the ransom.
Quoc Quang – Minh Dung
Posted By Heng Soy to KI Media at 2/28/2011 11:01:00 PM