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procedures for other casinos as they re-open. Safety protocols mandate that all patrons and employees wear masks; a maximum of three players per table, 50 per cent of electronic gaming devices will be turned off, and cigarette smoking and drinking will be prohibited on the casino floor.


In addition, casino capacity will be limited to 30 per cent. Tat may gradually increase if it does not negatively impact the health and safety of patrons and employees. NagaWorld opened its VIP gaming tables and electronic gaming areas on July 7 and was granted permission to resume mass market table game operations on July 18.


Te government continues to maintain restrictions on international arrivals, thus constraining NagaWorld’s ability to reach pre- pandemic business volume. As of now, the casino is dependent on expatriates residing in Phnom Penh as well as a limited number of VIP gamers from fly-in markets.


SIHANOUKVILLE AND BORDER MARKETS Te casinos in the coastal city of Sihanoukville


are wholly dependent on international visitation arriving by air. As air traffic resumes, hotels are


once again resuming operations. As of July 29, 21 casinos requested permission to resume operations and those were forwarded to the national government for review. Permission to re-open will fall on the Ministry of Health as well as local health authorities. Health and safety protocols developed at NagaWorld will form the foundation for safety procedures at those casinos.


Te casinos in the border districts remain closed. Overland border traffic is restricted to the movement of goods. Since Vietnam and Tailand remain under strict quarantine, there is no tourism traffic crossing those borders. Given the recent and unexpected surge in infections in Vietnam, the border crossing to Bavet is expected to remain closed. Te Kingdom of Tailand also remains extremely vigilant and has yet to fully open their border with Cambodia, allowing only Tais to return home.


THE EMERGENCE OF TRAVEL BUBBLES It remains to be seen how quickly Tailand,


Vietnam and Cambodia re-open their borders to tourism traffic. What is expected, once each country’s ministries of health have a high degree of assurance that their neighbours have


extinguished the virus, is the development of travel bubbles. Tese bubbles will allow for the relatively free movement of citizens to and from Tailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Nevertheless, any sudden increase in rates of infections will force one or more countries to close their borders until the threat is abated.


Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh’s tourism markets, dependent on international visitation from China, Malaysia and Tailand, will also develop travel bubbles with those nations. Visitors from outside those countries would be subject to government supervised quarantine measures. Once again, any re-emergence of the virus will likely cause restrictions on cross border traffic.


Covid-19 remains a significant threat to the short-term health of Cambodia’s tourism industry. Until there is a widely available vaccine and treatment measures for the virus, the gaming industry can expect periodic constraints to the flow of tourists into the country. Te governments of the Mekong region recognize the threat that the virus poses and are prepared to re-institute measures to protect their citizens from future outbreaks.


NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE / MARKET DATA P101


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