Ambitious Redevelopment in Sihankouville Provides New Hope for CambodiaPublished November 11, 2020 by Lee R
Cambodia is about to emerge from a doldrum that started with iGaming closures and was exacerbated by Covid.
The once dormant Cambodian gaming capital of Sihanoukville is returning with a modernized model for the times that appears prepared to create added steady revenue flow for Cambodia.
Originally arising from a construction boom backed primarily by Chinese investors, Sihanoukville developed into a resort of palm-fringed beaches with no regard for urban planning, controls, or infrastructure serving mainland China players—leading to a chain of events culminating in the shutdown of iGaming in Cambodia.
Now, the government of Cambodia is taking a hard look at upgrading infrastructure from the inside to attract serious investors.
Jin Bei Group director of strategic planning Gary Tham reports “there are no more bumpy roads, there are bright lights during the night and you feel much safer when the streets are no longer dark.”
Attracting Tourism, Investment
Tham claims this bodes well for attracting steady clientele to the Jin Bei Palace, which opened in March of this year during the second phase of its Sihanoukville development. Tham celebrated newly redone sewer and water systems as signs “everything is falling into place.”
Access to Sihanoukville has been improved by reducing the commute from the airport by half down to 30 minutes, along a new secondary road along a more scenic coastline route.
The area further features a luxury shopping mall and new 18-hole golf course.
There is also the Covid recovery factor to consider—with 50 percent of the casinos gone and only primarily big brands remaining.
While newly published gaming regulations from Cambodia Ministry of Tourism mass-marketing a family-friendly tourist destination do not directly address the recovery issue, the infrastructure changes are reportedly attracting significant new investment interest.
One Major Investor
One name rumoured to be coming into Sihanoukville is Cambodia's biggest operating brand NagaCorp: recent interim reports reveal that Sihanoukville and Siem Reap are under consideration for possible IRs, without making mention of gaming.
With provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun's announcement at the opening of the Prince Huan Yu shopping mall that over 60 companies are investing $10.74 billion in local tourism and hotels, the infrastructure improvements stand as significant acts of government good faith in Sihankouville's new potential as a gambling mecca for Cambodia.