Kampot is a small riverside town in Cambodia's Kampot province, close to the border with Vietnam. It was once a French resort town famous for its pepper but many of the French colonial buildings are now in a state of disrepair and new construction is evident everywhere. The ruins of a French resort up on Bokor Mountain are being transformed into a casino resort with golf course, much to the horror of some who would preserve the surrounding jungle and the Bokor National Park, and the Phnom Penh Post reports that Kampot's first casino will open in September.
Just 300 metres from the Prek Chak international border, the 9-storey Ha Tien Casino and Resort is almost complete. The joint US-Cambodia venture received project approval back in 2008 and construction commenced early in 2009. In 2006 Cambodia had 14 casinos, most in the Poipet area. Last year the casino industry brought in an estimated revenue of US$17.5 million to Cambodia, slightly down on the US$19 million from the 29 casinos in 2008. The decline was attributed to fewer visitor numbers and tensions with neighbouring Thailand.
In February 2010 the Titan King Casino opened in Bavet, Svay Rieng province, also near the Vietnam border. Elixir Gaming Technologies announced this year that it would build and operate a casino hotel in Takeo Province near the Vietnam border, having been granted a casino licence by the Cambodian government. Dreamworld Casino and Resort is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2011 at an estimated cost of US$8 - 10 million. (E-07.12.10)
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