New casino resort planned for Bavet, Cambodia

A total of US$200 million is to be invested in a 50-hectare (124-acre) resort containing land-based and online casino facilities at Bavet in Cambodia, reports the Khmer Times newspaper.

The developer was identified by the news outlet as a firm called Virtue Resources Corp. The resort – which would be close to Vietnam’s Moc Bai border crossing to Cambodia – would be known as Empire World City.

As well as gaming space, the venue would have a hotel, a shopping mall and what was described as a “water show arena”.

The news outlet quoted executives linked to the developer as saying project financing efforts were under way, with the aim of starting construction by year-end.

Currently under Cambodian law, its citizens are barred from using the country’s existing casinos. A number of gaming venues on Cambodia’s borders serve customers from Thailand – where casinos are banned – and Vietnam, which has casinos but also currently bars access by locals.

In December Vietnam’s government confirmed however it would launch a pilot scheme whereby some large-scale casino projects in Vietnam would be allowed to accept bets from economically-qualified Vietnamese gamblers.

The Khmer Times said two memorandums of understanding on the Empire World City project had been signed on April 13 at the Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel, in the Cambodian capital.

The first was described as between Virtue Resources and 3Ti Progetti Asia Ltd – a regional arm of a Rome-based firm of Italian architects; and the second between the owner of the selected site and Virtue Resources.

The report said a ground breaking ceremony had been held in Bavet on April 14.