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NEWS UPDATES 24 January 2010

Cambodia opens 32nd casino near Vietnam border

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A $2 million casino opened recently in a special economic zone (SEZ) which lies on the border between Cambodia and Vietnam, has become the 32nd gambling outlet to be licensed by the government, according to a report in the Phnom Penh Post, citing Deputy of National Police Commissioner, Sok Phal.

Top Diamond, a 1,600-square-metre casino, is the first of three gambling outlets expected to be built in the Phnom Den SEZ, the daily quoted developers as saying at the launch Thursday.

The 200-employee casino was built on land leased by Cambodian developers Doung Chhiv Investment on National Road 2, about 1km from the international border with Vietnam.

 “This location has great potential. I hope that businessmen will stop by here to gamble, Managing director Hout Chanthou said. “This is the first casino here. If it is successful, we will be opening two more casinos. I also have plans to build a new $4.5 million three-star hotel next year,” he added.

“We hope that one will be set up on the Cambodia-Laos border in the near future soon,” he said, citing numerous casinos already built along the Kingdom’s borders with Thailand and Vietnam. “Casinos can create jobs for Cambodian people in those areas.”

Investors hope to expand on the casino market as part of the development of SEZs. Cambodia currently has 19 licensed areas, but only six are in operation. Construction in the Phnom Den SEZ, which was created in 2006, is due to finish in 2015.

Duong Tech, general manager of Duong Chhiv Group, told the Post on Thursday that the company has completed about 15 percent of its development plans for the area. Its progress has slowed as a result of the world economic crisis.

“So far we have built a warehouse, a casino and 42 apartment units. Our plan for the SEZ is to build three casinos on the land,” he said.


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