Cambodia’s Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has rejected a proposal by casino operator NagaCorp to build a resort and theme park near the country’s famous Angkorian temples.
The rejection, revealed on Tuesday, is a rare blow for NagaCorp, which proposed plans for the 75-hectare development in Siem Reap Province in November. The Hong Kong-listed company, which runs the NagaWorld complex in Phnom Penh, enjoys exclusive rights to operate gaming facilities in the capital and is generally seen as being on good terms with the government.
Its proposal for a nongambling resort just 500 meters from the Angkor Archaeological Park, however, ran into opposition, including concerns from UNESCO. The U.N. body said in February that experts on the International Coordinating Committee for Angkor were against the $350 million project. The proposed development’s proximity to the protected temples and its “scale, scope and concept” could impact Angkor’s “outstanding universal value,” the experts said.