A couple of days ago, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen confirmed that the country’s casinos, which have been inoperable since April 1st, would finally resume operations. Casino companies have now been given the green light by the Government to open doors and, according to estimates, 200 casino venues are set to restart.
Cambodia’s Government as given its approval for the industry to resume operation after the country’s Ministry of Health has come up with certain safety measures to make sure that the further spread of the coronavirus infection on the casinos’ premises would be prevented.
Cambodian casinos were forced to stop operating on April 1st, with the Covid-19 cases rapidly increasing in this period. The national health authorities, however, have now found that the peak of the infection has already passed, so the Government and the health authorities have decided to relax the shutdown measures in the industry.
As the local health authorities have revealed, the situation with the coronavirus crisis in the region of Southeast Asia has become stable. Before they are officially given permission to open their premises, however, casino operators that are willing to do so would be required to make a petition to the Ministry of Health and make themselves familiar with the safety measures aimed at preventing the further spread of disease they would have to be in line with before they can resume operations.
NagaCorp Is the First Casino Operator to File a Request for Permission
NagaCorp Ltd has already called for the Government to allow it to reopen its NagaWorld integrated casino resort situated in Phnom Penh. As it became clear, the neighboring towns of Poipet and Bavet are also set to see some casino reopenings, along with Sihanoukville, which is a popular gambling destination in Cambodia.
The director-general of the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s General Department of Financial Industry, Mey Vann, has shared that NagaWorld is, in fact, the first casino to file a request to restart operation. He further revealed that, despite there are more than 100 casinos on the territory of the country, No other casino operator has submitted a letter asking the Government for permission to reopen, because the owners have been still preparing their establishments to be in line with the requirements of the local authorities. For the time being, the casino venues along the borders of Cambodia with Vietnam and Thailand have not reopened, too.
According to an announcement made by the Prime Minister’s spokesman on social media, casino venues will be permitted to operate slot machines only. As revealed by Phay Siphan, the Cambodian Government is also considering to draft a new gambling bill called “Law on the Management of Integrated Resorts and Commercial Gambling”. If this bill is turned into law, it would guarantee better regulation of the country’s gambling sector.
Social distancing measures would be maintained by any casino owner, who wants to open their premises’ doors. Apart from that, slot machines and gambling tables would be required to be placed to more than 1 meter from each other.