Sihanoukville locked down after virus outbreak 

by William Brown Last Updated
Cambodian casino allowed to reopen despite local virus infections

A Cambodian casino town has banned people entering or leaving the city as it tries to get on top of a coronavirus outbreak.

Asgam reports that Sihanoukville is under an indefinite movement ban, announced by the Preah Sihanouk Province Hall last Friday, with only ambulances and trucks transporting goods granted an exemption.

Cambodia’s Ministry of Health had reported 18 new coronavirus cases in Sihanoukville last Friday, all linked to a hotel quarantine breach in Phnom Penh on February 20.

There are 32 locations in Sihanoukville listed as COVID-19 hotspots, including a number of casinos and hotels.

“This has to be done to allow the provincial administration to be able to put the infection cases under control as well as look for people who have been in contact with the patients and the hotsports.” the Province Hall said.

Cambodia had largely kept the global pandemic at bay in 2020, with just 378 confirmed cases, but that number has more than doubled in the past two weeks, with 477 cases linked to a new cluster.

The rapid spread of the virus saw Phnom Penh integrated resort NagaWorld suspend operations in early March after 11 staff members tested positive.

It has also been reported that authorities in Kandal Province, located 50 kilometres south of the capital have stopped 723 visitors and staff from leaving the Yong Yuan casino and placed them in quarantine after a guest linked to the 20 February event tested positive.

“Local authorities are on guard at the casino to ensure safety and did not allow anyone to exit the casino as it is under lockdown during the 14 days quarantine period,” Kandal’s governor Kong Sophorn said.

Donaco settles Star Vegas dispute

Australian casino operator Donaco International has confirmed the conclusion of its dispute with Cambodia’s Star Vegas Casino.

Yahoo Finance reported in January that the dispute, originally announced on March 3, 2020, has concluded.

The accounts for the six months ending December 31, 2020 will fully reflect the positive outcome in accordance with the terms of the settlement, the report said.

In addition, as detailed on December 18, 2020, the business has continued to improve to a positive EBITDA as impacts from coronavirus have moderated from earlier extreme levels.

The company’s debt has been reduced significantly and a solid platform for growth is now emerging, it said.

Donaco’s largest business, Poipet’s Star Vegas Casino and Resort, on the Thai-Cambodia border, was established in 1999 and is the largest and highest quality of the Poipet hotel casinos.

The property has more than 100 gaming tables, more than 1400 pokie machines and 385 hotel rooms.

Donaco’s flagship business is the Aristo International Hotel, a successful boutique casino in northern Vietnam, located on the border with Yunnan Province, China.

Established in 2002, the property has recently been expanded to a brand new five star resort complex with 400 hotel rooms.

Donaco owns a 95 per cent interest in the business, in a joint venture with the Vietnamese government.

Donaco settles case with Star Vegas casino

Australian-headquartered casino operator Donaco International has gained approval from a key lender to settle the casino firm’s legal cases with third parties, including its Cambodian casino venue.

GGR Asia reported in December that an outstanding debt of US$7.8 million payable to Mega Bank was a “notable reduction from the initially borrowed amount of US$100 million and the company is on track to repay all the remaining debt in financial year 2021,” Donaco said in a filing to the Australian Stock Exchange.

The approval by Mega Bank was in relation to the “successful settlement of all legal cases with the Thai-vendor” parties regarding Star Vegas and was “part of the provisions of a facility agreement with the lender,” Donaco noted.

“Donaco is extremely pleased to secure this approval as the company.

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