The Macau Metro Monitor, April 4, 2012
CAMBODIA BETS CASINOS CAN BOOST TOURISM WSJ
Among the planned developments in Cambodia is the Thansur Bokor Highland Resort, two hours south of the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. The resort held a soft opening last week and is expected to open officially by midyear, with 418 rooms, a convention center, spa facilities, scenic trails and an "edutainment center" for children, with a library and board games. Some gambling experts are skeptical it will succeed, in part because of Thansur Bokor's distance from Phnom Penh. It also is unclear whether Cambodia will be able to attract the kind of family-oriented crowds that have boosted revenue at casino developments in Singapore.
Cambodia's best-known casino, NagaWorld in Phnom Penh, is adding 220 rooms to its current total of about 500. It is adding as many as 30 new gambling tables to its total of 131 and around 275 new slot machines. Several other additions for the resort at a cost of $369 million include a "NagaCity Walk", a tourist park and luxury retailers.
Developers also are looking to expand gambling in other parts of Cambodia, including near the southern beach resort of Sihanoukville and near what could be the biggest prize: Siem Reap, home to the Angkor Wat temple, Cambodia's most-renowned tourist attraction.