NagaWorld Casino to Reopen VIP Tables, Slots on July 8 as Cambodia Eases COVID-19 Restrictions

  • Cambodian Ministry of Health issued NagaCorp certificate of clearance after premises inspection
  • All casino employees and patrons will undergo temperature checks upon entry, wear face masks
  • Table games will operate at 43% capacity while slot machine capacity has been reduced to 50%
  • NagaWorld in Phnom Penh is the first casino in Cambodia to request to reopen post-COVID-19
Night shot of the illuminated NagaWorld building in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
NagaWorld Casino in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh got the green light to resume its VIP table game and slot machine operations on July 8. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

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

The reopening of NagaWorld comes at a time when Cambodia is gradually phasing out COVID-19 restrictions. To date, there have been 141 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country, with no deaths.

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.