Cambodia’s Casinos Take a Hit as Country Locks Down Its Borders

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Donaco’s Star Vegas Resort & Club and NagaCorp’s Naga World in Cambodia could be facing a new round of losses. The country has been forced, once again, to close its borders with Thailand and Vietnam, thanks to the resiliency of COVID-19. The coronavirus continues to threaten the country, as well as others, with the Delta variant that has begun to surface. An increase in the number of positive cases has forced Cambodia to take action, and additional lockdown measures could be implemented if the situation doesn’t improve.

Cambodia Struggles To Rebound from COVID-19

The border closures came late last week as Cambodia registered a significant increase in the number of new daily COVID-19 cases. The average has been hovering at around 927 each day but, on June 30, 1,130 people tested positive for the coronavirus. The problem hasn’t been only domestic, as workers returning to the country from Thailand have also tested positive. In many cases, the Delta variant is being found, which is said to be more stubborn and resistant to vaccines. The Khmer Times media outlet asserts that 22 Delta cases were detected in individuals arriving from Thailand last month.

NagaCorp has already been forced to cut staffing levels and salaries at its Naga World integrated resort in Phnom Penh because of ongoing COVID-19 issues. The Star Vegas has seen its troubles, as well, and Donaco has had difficulty making ends meet. Additionally, dozens of casinos located in border towns are going to be impacted by the new restrictions, with those in the city of Poipet already shut down since this past April. This closure followed one last year that saw area casinos shuttered for two months during what would have otherwise been a successful period of travel.

More Restrictions Could Be Coming

Cambodia has seen over 50,000 COVID-19 cases in total, of which 602 have resulted in death. Although the country saw a brief interruption to its daily activity last year because of the pandemic, it had otherwise avoided any major catastrophe, such as that seen in Macau. Things have taken a turn for the worse now, however, and the country is prepared to implement stringent measures if things don’t improve.

According to Cambodian Secretary of State Or Vandine, “We are now at the red line for COVID-19 virus transmission in the country. Everyone must act responsibly together in order to suppress virus transmission now. We do not want to pass the red line, which will require lockdown again.” Currently, all arrivals must undergo a COVID-19 test and a number of quarantine centers have been set up. However, if the country passes the “red line,” it is prepared to stop all incoming travel and significantly curtail commercial activity. No word was given on how long the new border restrictions will stay in place.

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