ASX-LISTED casino operator Donaco International Ltd has fully reopened its Star Vegas establishment in Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet town near the Thai border, following the lifting of border restrictions between Cambodia and Thailand.
According to the company’s filing on the bourse on June 17, Star Vegas Resort and Club commenced operations on June 18, 2022.
Donaco confirmed that the government and local authorities have lifted the temporary closure of casino operations in Banteay Meanchey, where Star Vegas is located. Up till then, the casino was operating on a limited basis, serving domestic customers since the Covid-19 announcement on restrictions on September 25, 2020.
The gradual opening to full operation would enable Donaco to continue prudent cost-control strategies it implemented across the business in response to the impact due to the pandemic.
“We are delighted to put a prolonged period of Covid-19 disruptions behind us with the reopening of Star Vegas and the return to full-scale operations on the horizon,” non-executive chairman Porntat Amatavivadhana said.
“The Cambodian border with Thailand has also reopened, which has traditionally been where the vast majority of Star Vegas’ customers originate from.
“In tandem with favourable macroeconomic conditions, we will maintain our focus on prudent control of corporate and operation costs. Of course, it will take some time before operations return to how they were before, but these external factors are extremely encouraging for our business,” Porntat added.
Cambodian ambassador to Thailand Ouk Sorphorn told The Post that the reopening of borders would boost economic activities across the border, especially trade and investment.
“This is a very positive sign for the two countries to improve bilateral trade, tourism and investment,” he said, adding that a number of companies in Thailand are now interested in expanding their business in Cambodia.
In 2021, tourists travelling from Thailand to Cambodia totalled 81,844, the highest out of 10 countries, followed by China (45,775), and Vietnam (22,120), the tourism ministry stated.
The number of foreign tourists visiting Cambodia plunged 84.96 per cent from 1,306,143 in 2020 to just 196,495 in 2021, the latter representing a nearly 97.03 per cent drop from an all-time peak of 6,610,592 in 2019.