Players at the Naga Floating Casino stepped over and around a team of movers emptying the ship of its contents Thursday, as the company prepares to settle into its new riverfront complex.
Video slot machines, bottled water and several boxes of unused goods were carried from the casino boat to trucks headed for NagaCorp Ltd’s new home near Hun Sen Park.
The move is one of several goals the company has set in order to achieve listing on the Singapore stock exchange, casino officials said Thursday.
Naga unsuccessfully bid for a place on the exchange this month. The Monetary Authority of Singapore has said it will block NagaCorp from listing its shares because it is not fully subject to monitoring systems for the prevention of money laundering.
The casino will be operating in its new $100 million Nexus Naga complex by October, according to a statement issued by NagaCorp Thursday. The statement said the complex’s entertainment wing is completed, leaving only the hotel wing unfinished. But security guards at Nexus Naga said only the first floor of the building is finished and the rest is “a mess.”
The building plan includes a five-star hotel, restaurants, a fitness center, a shopping arcade and a nightclub.
The Nexus Naga hotel, resort and gambling complex in its riverfront location is an exception to the 1998 government’s ban on casinos in Phnom Penh.
The ban prohibits gambling in the capital; casinos must be located at least 200 km outside of Phnom Penh to legally operate. Nexus Naga’s looming presence beside the Buddhist Institute is tolerated, however, due to a court ruling upholding an agreement between the government and the casino’s Malaysia-based corporate parent, Ariston Sdn Bhd. Ariston and the government signed a 20-year contract in 1995 allowing NagaCorp to operate in Phnom Penh in exchange for about $1.3 billion worth of development projects.
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