Introduction: Integrated mega-casinos and speculative urbanism in southeast Asia

Juan Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, luxurious megacasino 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-asdevelopment consolidates the differentiated treatment of citizen subjects and gives legitimacy to the biopolitical governance of citizen practices, claims, and urban participation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-674
Number of pages24
JournalPacific Affairs
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Casinos
  • Gambling
  • Integrated resorts
  • Neoliberal urbanism
  • Southeast asia
  • Speculation
  • Urban development


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