Major casino operators have long perceived Cambodia as a tertiary gaming market – a collective mix of border casinos that catered to residents of adjacent countries seeking a convenient place to gamble. The absence of robust gaming regulations further discouraged larger operators from considering acquisitions or developments in the Kingdom. That perception is changing.
Anticipated changes in the regulatory environment coupled with dramatic growth in casino markets throughout the country has caused casino developers to take a closer look at Cambodia.
As the gaming industry’s collective attention is focused on what casino development might look like in Japan, a small seaside resort town on the coast of Cambodia is quietly emerging as the
world’s fastest-growing gaming jurisdiction. The town is called Sihanoukville.
Sihanoukville is a port city and down-market vacation destination on the Gulf of Thailand in southwest Cambodia. It has long appealed to backpackers
for its pristine beaches and low-priced accommodations. It also has served as a gambling and vacation destination for Thais and Chinese.
When examining the major casino markets of Asia, Macau and Singapore most often come to mind. Most gaming executives are familiar with these markets, and their prodigious gaming revenue performance continues to attract the interest of the media and financial analysts.
The extraordinary performance of these markets has caused casino developers to look more closely at other regional Asia markets such as South Korea, Vietnam and Japan as they look for that next great opportunity.
What are often overlooked are other regional Asian markets that are already established yet are somewhat removed from major Asian cities. These gaming markets generate prodigious amounts of gaming revenue and serve as convenience-based gaming destinations to regional populations.