- Earlier in 2019 NagaCorp revealed plans for a $3.5 billion expansion project of the NagaWorld complex
- The project design entails additional hotel rooms, diversification and expansion of gaming spaces and more
- Lawmakers in Cambodia, on the other hand, grow weary of licensing Chinese investors and their land-based casino operations
Plans for the Naga 3 expansion project were revealed in early April this year and involve the expansion of the NagaWorld complex three times the size of the original phase plus the Naga 2 expansion combined.
Naga 3 “The Largest Private Sector Investment in Cambodia So Far”
Right now, the combined capacity of the Naga 1 and Naga 2, which make up the NagaWorld complex, accommodate something in the lines of 15,000 visitors daily. This makes for a rough approximation of 880,000 guests per year. Last years’ results show the degree of occupancy somewhere in between 80 and 90%.
The Naga 3 expansion project includes the construction of four forty-two story towers. Visitors will be enticed by high-class residences and hotel accommodation, a rich variety of convention spaces, retail, entertainment and dining facilities, as well as additional attractions. The estimated additional hotel room count stands at a little over 4,700 to the already existing hotel facilities. Prognoses of the expansion expect a 330% increase of visitors, which would grow the 880,000 number to 2.9 million hotel guests each year.
NagaCorp’s third phase expansion of the NagaWorld complex is expected to generate about 50,000 temporary and long-term employment positions only in relation to the construction of the additional facilities, and some 18,000 positions at permanent employment.
98% of NagaCorp’s shareholders voted in support of the expansion. The company plans to invest $3.5 billion in the majority of the project. The largest shareholder and the CEO abstained from voting on the matter. Suffice it to say that earlier this year Tan Sri Dr Chen Lip Keong, the chief executive and founder of the corporation, said that he would donate 50% of the entire investment.
Among other things, hopes are that the Naga 3 expansion will assist with the spiking demand for luxury accommodation in Phnom Penh. Just recently the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism posted projections, which reveal that at current rates the Cambodian capital will fall short of about 100,000 rooms by 2025.
Cambodia’s Internal Strife on Casino Licensing
Despite the potential for mutual assistance between the Hong-Kong listed corporate entity and Cambodia’s tourist sector, NagaCorp, as well as many others, may be facing a troublesome turn of events later on. Just recently Cambodian government has started debates over whether or not to stop issuing gambling licenses. Lawmakers have expressed their sentiments on how their patience is wearing thin with Chinese high-rollers opening land-based casinos on Cambodian territories, just so that they may acquire a license for promoting and operating online gambling websites.
Regardless of the fact that the gambling industry has been thriving in Cambodia and has contributed a great deal in many aspects, just prior to the elaboration on the Naga 3 expansion, Cambodian government announced plans for detaining online gambling. Threats to civil order were what made up the larger part of the argument.
As for now, already licensed establishment may continue functioning at least as long as their licenses expires.