After a flurry of Cambodian government announcements in the past week on easing restrictions in the Kingdom of Cambodia due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NagaWorld has been given the green light to resume operations.
NagaWorld – Phnom Penh
NagaWorld received its Certificate of Clearance issued by the Ministry of Health which allows the Phnom Penh based operations to resume its VIP and Slot Gaming Machines from Wednesday 8th July 2020. Nagaworld and all Cambodian based casinos have been closed since April 2020.
NagaWorld said in a statement “On 4 July 2020, a technical team of the MoH (Ministry of Health) had conducted a physical site inspection of the casino premises of NagaWorld and concluded that the Company is in compliance with requirements of the health rules and also with the Standard Operating Procedure as set by the MoH in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.
NagaWorld is proud to be selected by the Ministry of Health to resume gaming operations and set the standards for other gaming operators in the country. The reopening of the VIP and Slot Gaming Machines businesses is a test run under the current condition and development of COVID-19.”
What does NagaCorp have to put in place?
NagaCorp has to comply with the following measures according to a report in the Khmer Times:
- Quarantine measures in force in accordance with the Sub-Decree No. 129 dated 17 September 2015 and the letter No. 101 of the MoH dated 15 May 2020;
- Establishment of safety equipment at the casino premises;
- Establishment of five isolation rooms for prevention measures in case of any occurrence of health issues of the guests;
- Informing the MoH in case of positive COVID-19 found on any guest;
- Collaborate with the working group with the aim of supervising the reopening of its VIP and Slot Gaming Machines businesses; and
- Compliance with all relevant terms and preventive measures set by the guidelines in the SOP submitted to the MoH in respect to the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.
All employees and visitors arriving at NagaWorld will have to undergo a body-temperature check before being allowed in and they are also required o wear a face mask.
NagaCorp also said it was reducing its slot-machine capacity by 50 per cent, “by switching off every other slot position,” in order to ensure safe distancing between players and adding that “standing play” was “not allowed”.
A report in GGR Asia added that NagaCorp planned to also establish five “isolation rooms” at NagaWorld as a “prevention measure” in case of any “health issues” among its guests.
NagaCorp had agreed to pay most staff 50% of their salaries whole it was closed, while a handful of staff was running NagaWorld’s hotel, which was partially operational. NagaWorld has close to 10,000 staff at its NagaWorld and Naga2 locations.
At the start of June 2020 however, most staff were left with no income and lead to members of its staff approaching the Cambodia Labour of Ministry for assistance. Chhim Sithar, who represents NagaWorld’s unionized staff, told local Cambodian media that the union had presented NagaCorp with three options for keeping its staff from economic ruin during the shutdown.
Casinos in Cambodia
Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s General Department of Financial Industry said NagaWorld is the first casino to file a request to reopen. The Ministry is responsible for regulating casinos in Cambodia.
Vann said Cambodia has over 100 casinos and added “No other casino has submitted a letter asking to reopen because their owners have yet to prepare their establishments for it. Casinos along the Thai and Vietnamese borders also have not reopened.”
“Upon success achieved by NagaWorld in contributing to combat the COVID-19 situation, it is expected that other members of the casino industry in Cambodia shall sign a similar MoU with the MoH, comply with the measures imposed by the MoH and shall have a full set of standard operating procedures in the operation of the business amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”
All casino owners who want to open need to first ask for permission from the Ministry of Health and fulfil requirements related to Covid-19 preventive measures added an article by the Phnom Penh Post.