Since May, the Jin Ding Casino in Sihanoukville has been closed, and now, according to local media sources, they are asking the Cambodian government to allow them to build a new casino elsewhere.
Once it was revealed that they were working without a permit and that they had been facilitating illegal online gambling, the Chinese owned casino was ordered to cease operations. A much more disturbing problem was that untreated sewage was released into the ocean region.
Sihanoukville has become a thriving tourist area with beautiful beaches and fantastic tourist facilities attracting people from all over the globe. The cavalier way the casino released sewage into the ocean waters not only created health risk, but also damaged the region’s reputation for pristine, untouched beaches.
In Cambodia, officials determined that the casino would be demolished after the facility was closed. It persists, though, and there are fears that it still poses an environmental risk.
Jin Ding Casino’s owners have requested permission from the government to build a new facility at a location that has not yet been specified.
Preah Sihanouk Province spokeswoman Kheang Phearum explained in a statement that both targets are being met by the owners. “They are not refusing to remove [the old structures]. They just want more time to construct a new building.” He added that “We are now waiting to see how they proceed with the authorised work.”
This news doesn’t sit well with environmental advocacy groups especially those at Mother Nature: “Surely the public will see that what the authorities are doing is just a kind of theatre meant to show that they are enforcing the law, when they are actually concerned only with business interests.”
It seems that the government of Cambodia could actually be responsible for tearing down the closed casino. The facility’s closure does not seem to be inevitable.