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Introduction: Integrated Mega-Casinos and Speculative Urbanism in Southeast Asia

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In the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, luxurious mega-casino resorts have become spectacles of economic growth across diverse destinations in Asia. With its emphasis on large-scale integrated resorts (IR), the casino and leisure industry is a site of economic rejuvenation even as it offers spaces of moral corruption. Integrated mega-casinos are ambiguous projects of development, driving the speculative processes of place-making for accumulation, social control, and global competition. This editorial introduction focuses on three main themes. First, mega-IR projects show the historical and complicated relations between state power and the gambling economy. Second, Southeast Asia's new mega-casinos are emblematic of speculative urbanism and its experiments. Third, casino-as-development consolidates the differentiated treatment of citizen subjects and gives legitimacy to the biopolitical governance of citizen practices, claims, and urban participation.
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Keywords: CASINOS; GAMBLING; INTEGRATED RESORTS; NEOLIBERAL URBANISM; SOUTHEAST ASIA; SPECULATION; URBAN DEVELOPMENT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2017

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