“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

The Shumchun Casino

Posted: September 1st, 2020 | No Comments »

Been having some fun on Twitter arguing against the ‘Shenzhen as fishing village’ myth that is so current and constantly repeated. Fun to remember that in 1931 the Mayor of Shumchun (or Shen Chuen), today’s Shenzhen, and a governor of Guangdong Chen Jitang opened a massive casino in Shumchun to capitalise on the desire to gamble in Hong Kong and perfect for those who preferrred a train just over the border to a rocking Macao ferry. The Kowloon-Canton Railway had opened a large station at Shum Chun in 1911 (hardly the sort of thing you do if the place is only a tiny fishing village) and that train brought passengers to gamble. The casino lasted till 1936. The chart below shows how much money the KCR made, so you can imagine how much the casino made….

I don’t expect this will end the endless repetition of the ‘fishing village’ canard, but still….and, if anyone has a photo of Chen’s vast Shumchun Casino I’d love to see it?

Opening the station in 1911
Welcome to Shumchun
Some serious gambling-derived revenues for the train company between 1931 and 1936 – not bad for a fishing village!
Chen Jitang
Madam Chen pictured on Hainan Island
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