NagaCorp, owner of Phnom Penh’s only licensed casino, NagaWorld, has issued a statement reassuring investors of its gaming licence and monopoly status over the country’s capital city.
The statement, issued on behalf of the chairman of NagaCorp’s board, Timothy McNally, states that through a wholly owned subsidiary called Ariston Bhd, NagaCorp continues to possess a casino licence that is valid for a period of 70 years.
“The board of directors of NagaCorp Ltd has noted, whether with an intention to cause trouble or not, some questions on the Company’s exclusivity rights,” the statement reads.
The licence grants Ariston the right to conduct casino gaming activities in Cambodia for a period of 70 years from January 2, 1995, with an additional exclusive right to operate a casino in Phnom Penh and the area within a radius of 200 kilometres of the city until 2035, the statement goes on to say.
NagaCorp’s monopoly licence, the likes of which have not been replicated for any other casinos in the country, does not encompass areas along the Cambodia-Vietnam border, Bokor Mountain or Sihanoukville.
“The Company has recently sought, and received, formal written confirmation from the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Cambodia in September 2014 that the government has re-affirmed that Ariston continues to enjoy the Exclusivity, and that this will, indeed, run until the end of 2035,” the statement continues.
“The Company has every faith in the Royal Government of Cambodia’s ability to assist the Group in the enforcement of its rights.”
A spokesman from the department of gaming at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ros Phirun, confirmed that Naga had contacted the government for the confirmation.
Phirun added that no other companies had been applying to establish casino businesses within the licence area and that even if they do, they would not be allowed.