Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Vietnamese firm to invest in massive casino

Vietnamese firm to invest in massive casino

Vietnamese firm to invest in massive casino

A little-known Vietnamese investment firm plans to build a massive $200 million mixed-use development that includes a hotel, casino and water park in the dusty Cambodian border town of Bavet through its fully-owned Malaysian subsidiary, a government official confirmed yesterday.

The first phase of the project, dubbed Empire World City, will be constructed on approximately 50 hectares of land and is headed by Vietnam’s Virtue Resources which operates through its subsidiary VR Capital Holding Sdn Bhd, a company with mining interests in Malaysia and a hotel development on the Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc, according to its website.

Ros Phirun, deputy director of the finance industry department at Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), confirmed yesterday that project has been granted approval by the Ministry of Land Management and Urban Planning and the Council for the Development of Cambodia.

“The government has given them approval to begin construction on the development and the company will only need to approach the MEF once it seeks a casino licence,” he said, adding that company has yet to submit casino licensing documents.

Virtue Resources and VR Capital Holding Sdn Bhd, could not be reached for comment yesterday about the development or the company’s shareholding structure. Phirun also could not provide information about the company or its funding sources citing that it did not fall under MEF jurisdiction.

Nevertheless, local media reported yesterday that the company signed two agreements last week, one worth $200 million with the global architectural firm 3Ti Progetti Asia Ltd, and the other worth $50 million to purchase the land from Cambodian landowners Mao Vanny and Choun Bony.

The project is set to be fully completed in 10 years and would also act as an online casino hub for the region, the report said.

While Phirun questioned why a Vietnamese company would invest heavily in the Cambodian casino market after Vietnam partially lifted its long-standing ban preventing its citizens from entering casinos, he said a 10-year timeline would allow the project to gauge future growth in the market.

“Slow development is not necessarily a bad thing as those that try to build too quickly can only capture the low and medium gaming segment,” he said. “A longer timeline will allow it to slowly capture the high-end market.”

“And even if it doesn’t capture the high-end market, the development could be profitable by operating online gambling websites because that is a worldwide industry,” he added.

According to the company’s website, Virtue Resources has previously signed a partnership agreement with China’s Glorywin Entertainment Group, a company that promotes gaming and junket activities across Asia, and has operated the luxury casino Chateau de Bavet since late 2015.

Phirun said that while “it is possible” that Virtue Resources purchased Chateau de Bavet, the company’s management had not notified the MEF of a new owner as it would have required the casino to renew its existing licence.

Glorywin and Chateau de Bavet could not be reached yesterday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • EU timber deal in firing line

    A committee of more than 20 national and international organisations filed a petition to the EU on October 10 to prevent it from signing a timber trade agreement with Vietnam, noting that the deal would be disastrous to the Kingdom’s forests. The petition claims Vietnamese timber

  • Kim Sok to keep up fight ‘for change’ from Finland

    Kim Sok, wanted by the Kingdom’s authorities for defaming the government, reiterated on Sunday his determination to continue helping to make “a real change” to Cambodian politics after receiving asylum in Finland, even as a government spokesman mocked the political analyst over the development.

  • PM: Programme to recover Vietnam War missing back on

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced the resumption of the MIA programme to recover the remains of American service personnel missing after action on Cambodian soil during the Vietnam War. The programme was suspended for more than a year after the US government imposed visa