Cambodia is one of the Asian countries which had previously expressed its desire to boost the local economy with the help of a regulated and running casino industry. However, it has its own conditions regarding the operation of casino facilities as it was recently demonstrated by officials stating that proposed casino development in the region of Siem Reap by casino developer Macau Legend Development are not considered appropriate or possible.
The reason behind this decision lies within the very nature of the region which is considered a UNESCO World Heritage site. The worldwide known Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world, on a site measuring 162.6 hectares. The ancient province is not deemed an appropriate site for a future integrated resort operated by the Macau-based casino developer. It could be recalled that the company recently expressed its desire to explore the new market and give green light to its new casino resort which has the potential to attract even more tourists to the area
For the people who are already drawn to the location Macau Legend would have provided an entertaining pastime. The proposed facility proposal included both casino and more family-friendly offerings available as announced by Macau Legend’s Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David Chow Kam Fai. During his official announcement he made it clear that the process of purchasing the land on which the new resort is going to be built is almost finalized. Guaranteeing the smooth process, an international law firm was also said to be involved in the process.
Poential for Future Development
Mr. Chow stated that the size and other details surrounding the future project are yet to be disclosed to the public as the time progresses. The potential deadline for the deal is the end of this year. Unfortunately, for the time being the casino part of the project would not happen.
Тhe officials of the Ministry of Economy and Finance which is currently supervising the casino field stated that international investors are more than welcome to explore the field and make their move, but casino development in the area of Siem Reap is not going to be permitted anytime soon. For the last three years the authorities have been considering this move and the legislation is finally going to have its chance to be approved following the elections in 2018.
Casino facilities in the country are venues which prohibit Cambodians from participating in gambling activities, as they are open to foreigners only. VIP gambling enthusiasts from China see the location as an alternative to Macau and with the help of the eased visa rules, now they have more freedom to travel to Cambodia.
According to the figures for 2017, this change resulted in China becoming the main source of tourists traveling to Cambodia, to reach 1.2 million and a 40-percent jump in comparison to 2016. There are currently more than 100 casino facilities within the borders of Cambodia which have received a license for operation by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.