Sihanoukville has opened its newest casino, and it has Cambodian officials excited about the economic opportunity it will bring. The Goddess of Liberty Casino opened on October 30, with government dignitaries on hand to celebrate, reports the Kampuchea Thmey Daily.
At the event, Men Sam An, Deputy Prime Minister of the National Assembly and Senate Relations and Inspection, said (translated):
“[Sihanoukville] has great potential in the trade and tourism industry. This also reflects the continued growth of foreign and private investment in Cambodia, especially attracting investors from China.”
The Deputy Prime Minister used the occasion to celebrate the growth of the casino industry in Sihanoukville. She noted the casinos and hotels bring in new customers and long term benefits. When they have a good time at the casino, they go home satisfied, and with happy memories of Cambodia to share with their family and friends, spurring more tourism.
She specifically celebrated the Goddess of Liberty Casino’s choice of location in Sihanoukville. “The launch of the Goddess of Libert Hotel and Casino at the moment is a good choice,” she said. “I support the investment decision here because the city is a great strategic location with a nice sea.”
Local reporting reveals little detail about the casino itself, but we know from other reports that it was built with a $100 million investment and features a five-star hotel.
It’s a bold time to open a casino in Cambodia. Recent news from the area indicates the casino industry is shrinking, with Chinese run operations laying off staff and in some cases, shutting down operations. Environmentalists are also railing against the industry, citing their lack of care to the local environment.
That doesn’t have them giving up though. Jin Ding Casino, which was the target of environmentalist protests and, maybe more importantly to the government, lacked a license, was forced to shut down recently. It’s not asking to be allowed to construct at a new location, eager to restart operations.