MONDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2010 15:00 SOEUN SAY
ANEW US$100 million casino is set to open near the Cambodia-Vietnam border at the end of this month, its owner has told the Post.
The four-star, eight-storey Titan King Resort and Casino has been built on 6 hectares of land in Bavet City, Svay Rieng province, about a kilometre from the international border with Vietnam and will be inaugurated at the end of the month, said owner Kith Thieng, vice president of the Royal Group and brother to its president, Kith Meng.
It will employ 1,500 people, has 200 rooms and is the ninth casino to be built in the area.
“We started to build our casino when the world economic crisis had not yet struck. Construction took three years to complete, but now it is complete, and the grand opening will be on February 26,” Kith Thieng said.
Casinos closed and decreased income because of the global financial crisis only.
He added that although the economic crisis had hit the casino industry, he hopes that Chinese, Malaysian and Vietnamese customers would be attracted to the new resort.
“In my view, I don’t expect the world economy to recover in the next two years,” said Kith Thieng.
Titan King Resort would cooperate with other casinos to promote the industry to foreign visitors, he said.
Cambodia’s border casinos – mostly at Poipet on the Thai side and Bavet next to Vietnam – have seen profits slump since the economic crisis hit the Kingdom. Ministry of Finance revenues from gaming tax were down between 7 and 8 percent last year to about US$17.5 million, Ros Phearun, deputy director of the ministry’s Department of Finance Industry, said Thursday.
King’s Crown Casino and Hotel in Bavet and Caesar Casino and Hotel in Poipet both closed last year due to the downturn, he added.
“Some casinos closed and decreased income because of the global financial crisis only,” he said.
All casinos have been affected, said Mey Vann, director of the finance industry department on Thursday, because of the downturn in tourism.
However, the Vietnamese border has been one of the few areas to escape the worst of the slump as Vietnamese became the most numerous visitors to the Kingdom last year, mostly across land borders, overtaking South Koreans, according to Ministry of Tourism figures.
With the opening late last month of top Diamond Casino in Kirivong district, Takeo province, there are 32 licensed casinos in Cambodia, said Deputy National Police Commissioner Sok Phal.