The VIP Casino in the town of Bavet, Cambodia, is the second in recent weeks to close its doors. The town on the border with Vietnam could be seeing its casino clients drawn away by the attraction of NagaWorld, situated in the capital city of Phnom Penh, as well as by other large casinos in the region.
During the first six months of 2010, NagaWorld’s revenues increased 7 percent.
Chrun Theravath, head of casino affairs at the ministry of economy and finance, told the Phnom Penh Post that he had been informed of the closure of VIP Casino in Bavet City.
“We know the casino is bankrupt, but we will go down to check,” Theravath 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.”
The ministry reported revenue from Cambodia’s 27 casinos decreased around 8 percent to approximately $17.5 million in 2009. Cambodians are not allowed to gamble in the nation’s casinos, which cater exclusively to foreign visitors.
Should Vietnam pass legislation allowing its citizens to gamble at its own casinos, projects like the MGM Ho Tram could sound the death knell for some of Cambodia’s border casino towns.