Star Vegas Resort and Club (pictured in a file photo), a casino resort on Cambodia’s border with Thailand, is among casino properties in Poipet and the rest of Banteay Meanchey province, that have been ordered to close for the time being, as a Covid-19 countermeasure.
The Star Vegas shutdown started on Tuesday, said its promoter, Australia-listed Donaco International Ltd.
Donaco said in a Wednesday filing that the provincial government order was due to a “Covid-19 community outbreak following a surge in cases”.
The filing to the Australian Securities Exchange added: “All casino operations in the province have been temporarily suspended from 27 April 2021.”
Star Vegas would therefore be “temporarily closed… until further notice,” stated the announcement.
“The continued safety of Donaco’s staff and visitors remains paramount, and the company will monitor developments and advise the market once there is a further update,” said the casino firm.
The Phnom Penh Post newspaper stated on Tuesday – citing a local health official – that 171 Covid-19 cases had been reported in Banteay Meanchey province.
The news outlet added – citing another official – that an outbreak of Covid-19 cases “from casino players” had been detected. The venue or venues concerned, were not identified in the report.
In a February filing, Donaco had said that for the six months to December 31, the company – which also runs a casino hotel on Vietnam’s border with China – had returned to positive EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation).
On April 1 last year, Star Vegas was temporarily shut down along with other casino venues around the country, as a pandemic countermeasure. The casino property reopened on September 25 that year, with limited capacity.
On Monday this week, it was announced that a nighttime curfew in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, host of the NagaWorld casino resort run by Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp Ltd, had been again extended by the local authorities for another week, to May 5.
Such curfew was first introduced on April 1 as a countermeasure against the further spread of Covid-19, and was due to last until April 28.
Elsewhere in the country, the Preah Sihanouk provincial administration has placed the local capital Sihanoukville under lockdown until May 6. The measure began on April 23. The move restricts people from travelling, and also requires suspension of all businesses, except for essential services.
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Report from the Royal Commission into the Casino Operator and Licence
State of Victoria, Australia