Sihanoukville, Cambodia is known as a popular resort location due to its tropical islands and the mangrove jungles of Ream National Park. This will soon change as this southern Cambodia coastal city is being slowly turned into a gambling town.
In the past few years, casinos have multiplied as Chinese investors have been pumping more money into the city’s property and gaming industries. The cheap hostel and food trucks that used to cater to the city’s tourists and backpackers are slowly being replaced by supermarkets and tour agencies.
This has led to land prices in some areas to double in value as Chinese investors are buying land for more casinos, hotels and residential projects.
In addition, Chinese investors are buying entire low-income residential blocks to house their employees. These are exclusively for employees that work in apparel and textile factories that are owned by Chinese businesses.
For the Sihanoukville tourism industry, this is great as it has led to the launch of international flights and an increase number of tourists.
They are currently 16 casinos operating in Sihanoukville and another 9 casinos that are scheduled to open in early 2018. The casinos seem to cater and target mainland China. The locals are worried because they know that some of these casinos are rogue Chinese operators which could lead to problems down the road. Especially since Sihanoukville is trying to keep a positive image as a tourist destination.
Live Dealer Casinos that target Chinese Clients
Many of these casinos are trying to expand into the online gambling industry. In order to receive an online casino license from the Cambodian government, a casino must first have a land-based casino. This has led to several Chinese gambling companies to invest into a land casino in the area.
A few sportsbook software companies have made deals with Chinese operators to provide their sports betting platforms to these casinos. A typical casino in Sihanoukville will have the several areas of the casino with dealers on the casino floors with remote customers playing online via webcams using proprietary live deal casino software.
Most Asian cities like Macau and other Asian markets do not allow online gambling. This is what will give Sihanoukville an advantage in the gambling industry and why there is such a development boom in the city at the moment.
Even though Sihanoukville does not boast large casinos at the moment, industry gaming exerts believe that they will quickly catch up. Several casinos like the Queenco Hotel are very profitable today. Queenco Hotel expects to double its room capacity shortly. Currently, the Sokha Beach Resort is the largest casino complex in the city with 490 rooms.
Of course, this boom is not all fun and games as several Chinese citizens have been arrested for running illegal online gambling operations and scams. For the moment, Sihanoukville has become a paradise for gambling operators that is comparable to early Antigua and Costa Rican operations.