A recent filing by Jimei International Entertainment Group Ltd. with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange indicates that the company plans to develop an integrated-entertainment complex in Cambodia with two other parties. Yeejia Tourism Development Company Ltd., a Cambodian resort developer would become a joint venture partner, and MCC International Incorporation Ltd., a large Chinese constructor would provide construction and consultancy services.
The project is planned for the coastal area of Sihanoukville. The integrated resort would include a hotel, golf course, and theme park along with other entertainment amenities and tourist services. Although the framework agreement didn’t specifically mention a casino, it is difficult to imagine Jimei breaking away from their income model to not include one. Sihanoukville is already home to almost a dozen, mostly small casinos, none of which allow Cambodian citizens to enter other than for work.
Hong Kong based, Macau operating Jimei has been seen to be a bit of a maverick in the junket business, first coming to Cambodia last summer in a deal with NagaWorld to set up VIP tables at the country’s largest casino, and more recently for establishing a VIP slots room at their Jimei Casino within the Grand Lapa hotel in Macau.
The phnompenhpost reported in September that Cambodia could well be the preferred destination for some junket operators fleeing mainland China’s crackdown on VIP business in Macau with Global Betting and Gaming Consultants of the UK’s director saying it is a labor intensive process to choose the proper clients, and the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute’s director saying, “[Cambodia is] not far away from China but less closely supervised than Macau,” said Wolfgang Georg Arlt.
Some analysts believe the project is already under construction and would be part of the controversial 3,300-hectare Golden Silver Gulf resort in Preah Sihanouk’s Ream National Park. Other working names for the development include the Dara Sakor Seashore Resort, and Angkor Wat on Sea casino. The project broke ground in 2008 and has had sporadic progress, with various accusations of unsavory activity on the parts of authorities and business entities involved in earlier stages of development.