Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hotel dips its toe in gaming club waters

Hotel dips its toe in gaming club waters

Hotel dips its toe in gaming club waters

C AMBODIA'S first legal gaming club since 1970 has been operating at the Holiday International Hotel since the beginning of November.

The hotel is Singaporean-owned. The gaming operation is contracted to a $15 million Indonesian company and has been set up by international Australian-based gaming managers. The gaming license was approved in March 1993.

The outfitting of the plush interior and gaming tables is still being completed and fine-tuned. "There will be a huge difference in three weeks," according to one of the Australian managers, who did not wish to be named.

At present there are three blackjack tables, two baccarat tables and two roulette wheels on one floor. The blackjack bets range from $5 to $500, roulette from $1 to $1,000 and baccarat from $50 to $5,000.

"It will be three times this size when it is completed," the manager said, adding that the first floor would itself be bigger than "nine out of ten gaming clubs in Europe."

The operation will extend up a second floor to the "VIP" lounge and the whole complex finished in six weeks.

There is still a bar to be built on the ground floor, seating to be arranged and more games added, such as keno, banks of electronic slot machines and a betting wheel that has been installed but not yet operating.

The gaming operation runs as an exclusive club, open to foreign nationals and members.

Plans for a seven-story annex to the hotel, complete with saunas, a gymnasium and a karaoke bar and nightclub have been approved, again for members.

Some in the Australian "team" have gaming experience in London, Nevada, the Caribbean including cruise ships from Miami, Sarajevo in Bosnia, Turkey (during the outbreak of the Gulf War) and cruise ships from Singapore.

They are confident that the Holiday International will be of a standard as acceptable as any other in the world, though they prefer not to compare it with others.

In gaming jargon the Holiday International is a "social club/junket facility."

Its players will be brought in on chartered flights as organized groups, principally from Asian neighbors such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and Hong Kong.

The operation will engender business for other hotels, restaurants and tourist related markets and, they hope, will help dispel misconceptions and hesitations that people might feel about visiting Cambodia.

The Indonesian owners of the gaming operation are "very well established internationally," the manager said, operating in the Philippines and Singapore.

The croupiers are professionally trained young Malaysian nationals. 150 local Khmers are now working in many positions and training classes are being set up to train 100 more for jobs in the hotel and in the gaming rooms.

The club opens till 4am but till the "junket" players arrive on their package tours the busiest action on the tables thins out by 10pm or 11pm.

In the past week the first such package tour arrived with players from Singapore.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Schools drawn into Manet degree row

    Prime Minister Hun Sen stepped into the Hun Manet-Sam Rainsy war of words over the validity of Manet’s degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, set off by Rainsy’s claims that Manet had received a “second-class degree” or “honorary degree”. Hun

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished