ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
All bets are off at casino
Chief of Casino Management at the Ministry of Economy and Finance Chrun Theravath confirmed yesterday that he had been informed of the closure of VIP Casino in Bavet City, Svay Rieng province.
"We know the casino is bankrupt, but we will go down to check [for details]," he said.
"I have also got unofficial reports that other casinos will declare bankruptcy soon. At this time, the economic situation is not better and it has resulted in a drop in customers," he added.
Gambling in Cambodia is restricted to holders of foreign passports.
News of the closure follows protests from employees at the site. On Monday, more than 300 workers gathered outside VIP to complain about missed salary payments.
Yesterday, Svay Rieng provincial Police Chief Prach Rim said the situation had simmered down.
"[The company] agreed to pay salaries back to the workers.
So now, the situation is quiet," he said.
The police chief observed that the town - where up to 14 casinos operate - had seen a drop in business since the economic crisis.
"It is hard to operate in the casino business. They must to have enough funds, good management and services. If not, it will [result in] bankruptcy," he said.
VIP is not the first to close its doors. In September, Bavet's Winn Casino closed its doors, leaving an estimated 300 workers jobless.
Prach Rim added that local authorities welcomed VIP's closure, as it would cut down on security concerns, but said he hoped that new management would reopen the site. He added it had seen three different owners since its opening.
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