Getting back to business
NagaCorp Ltd has made a deal with the government in Cambodia that will allow the gambling operator to resume its NagaWorld Casino slot machine and VIP table games business from July 8.
NagaCorp issued a filing to the Hong Kong bourse on Sunday detailing how it received initial consent from the Cambodian Ministry of Health to restart its VIP and slot machine operations. This was done through a memorandum of understanding dated June 30.
The ministry then completed an inspection of the NagaWorld gaming complex premises in the capital Phnom Penh on July 4. It proceeded to provide the Hong Kong-listed operator with a certificate of clearance.
Health and safety measures
As part of the announced reopening, all visitors and employees of NagaWorld will be subject to a temperature check before being allowed to enter the property. Everyone will also have to wear a face mask, including while gambling. A limit of three sitting players per table will be enforced, which will see table game player capacity reduced to 43%. No standing players will be allowed.
limit of three sitting players per table will be enforced
Slot machine capacity will be reduced by 50%, with every other machine switched off to make sure there is adequate distancing between players. Five designated “isolation rooms” will be set up at the NagaWorld facility in case any health issues arise among patrons.
Decision to reopen
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced on July 3 that casinos could resume operations once health and safety protocols were met. The decision was made during a plenary meeting of the Council of Ministers chaired by Sen.
NagaWorld is the first casino to have filed a request to reopen
The General Department of Financial Industry, which is a part of the Ministry of Economy and Finance in Cambodia, is in charge of regulating casinos in the kingdom. Its director-general, Mey Vann, noted that NagaWorld is the first casino to have filed a request to reopen. He said: “No other casino has submitted a letter asking to reopen because their owners have yet to prepare their establishments for it. Casinos along the Thai and Vietnamese borders also have not reopened.”
There are more than 100 land-based casinos currently operating in Cambodia. An online gambling ban came into effect on January 1, 2020.