Government Approves Sihanoukville ‘Casino City’ Plans

Malaysia-based company SV International was granted permission by the Council of Ministers earlier this month to begin the initial stage of grand plans to turn part of Sihanoukville into a “casino city,” an official confirmed.

In a promotional video posted online, the company said it aims to bring “24-hour borderless online betting games,” as well as a number of casinos and entertainment ven­ues, to the coastal city, which it believes will help it reach “Macau of Southeast Asia status.”

SV International’s founder and group chairman, Alan Lim, said yesterday that the implementation of the plans was just getting underway. He said he planned to return to Cambodia on Tuesday to plot out further details and ar­range a casino license.

“SV International has just started business in Cambodia,” Mr. Lim said. “Now the ongoing developments will be casinos, online casinos, hotels and also pawn shops.”

Construction on the company’s first establishment, a $16 million hotel on Street 705 set to reopen as SV World casino, will begin in April and is expected to finish by Sep­tember, he said, adding that the company’s customers had already taken a liking to Sihanoukville.

“For the last few months, every month we bring more than 300 members to Sihanoukville,” Mr. Lim said. “Our members’ re­sponse is that Sihanoukville is a very nice place to travel, as the beach and seaside is beautiful.”

Ros Phearun, a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance, confirmed the government’s approval of the company’s initial plans to develop in Sihanoukville but said SV International had not yet ap­plied for a casino license with the ministry or provided details of the developments.

Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Yun Min also said he had not received any detailed plans from the company or Council of Ministers.

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