Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ha Tien Vegas $100m gamble in Kampot fails to pay off

Ha Tien Vegas $100m gamble in Kampot fails to pay off

Ha Tien Vegas $100m gamble in Kampot fails to pay off

The Ha Tien Vegas Entertainment Resort at the Vietnamese border in Kampot province’s Kampong Trach district has let 500 of its 750 staff go, and is closing 130 hotel rooms and its big restaurant, according to an announcement yesterday.

The announcement yesterday said that since it opened in 2010, the recreation centre had never been successful, so it had been decided to reduce its large-scale activity first, instead of stopping business completely.

Ha Tien Vegas spokesman Holay Pao said delays by both Cambodia and Vietnam in building a road to the complex was an important factor that had discouraged guests from going there.

“Most customers don’t want to struggle with the road,” Holay Pao said. “The hope of the owner of Ha Tien Vegas is that the centre can continue to survive for the present and full operations will begin some time in the future.”

The nine-storey centre was opened at the end of 2010 at a cost of $100 million.

A 27-year-old worker, who asked not to be named and is working as an electrician at the centre, said staff numbers were being reduced from the top down in a restructure, as some staff were being paid as much as $3,000 a month.

He said the staff cuts had begun on June 15, but he was not among the workers being let go.

“I am also worried, but electricians don’t face so much trouble because they need electricians to protect the buildings,” he said.

Chhit Bunrith, an assistant service manger for the centre, said visitors did not seem to go there during the rainy season and there were currently fewer than 100 customers a day.

He said that the hotel has a total of 160 rooms but the company is to retire 130 rooms.

Kampot provincial governor Koy Khunhour said he knew of the matter but had not enquired about the casino in detail because it was a private business operation.

“It is normal that when businesses make profits, they expand their business, and when their business is lost, they don’t hold on,” Koy Khunhour said.

Officials of the Ministry of Economy and Finance could be contacted for comment yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at [email protected]

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