Cambodia’s close proximity to Thailand has made it a popular destination for Thais and expats in Thailand looking to gamble. There are more than 20 casinos throughout Cambodia, although most are aimed at Chinese tourists and only offer limited service to Westerners.
Lonely King © arileu
Technically, gambling is illegal for Cambodian citizens, although many casinos turn a blind eye to domestic gambling for players willing to make large enough bets.
Most of Cambodia’s casinos can be found in Phnom Penh, the country’s capital city, and in the beach resort of Sihanoukville. There are also casinos in the border town of Poipet, although the facilities are somewhat run down and most games are aimed at Thai gamblers.
Almost all casinos in Cambodia use US dollars, although some casinos close to the Thai border allow players to buy chips and bet on electronic games using Thai baht. You can exchange Thai baht, US dollars, euros and other foreign currencies in most casinos at reasonable rates.
Cambodia’s minimal regulations regarding gaming mean that many of the country’s casinos are somewhat on the shady side, although the upmarket Nagaworld in Phnom Penh offers a slice of Las Vegas style gambling for players seeking a more glamorous experience.
Gambling in Phnom Penh
Gaming Hall, Nagaworld Entertainment Complex, Phnom Penh © blemishedparadise
Location: National Assembly Street, Phnom Penh. Accessible by taxi from Phnom Penh Airport or by tuk-tuk from anywhere in Phnom Penh.
- NagaWorld is a large casino and hotel in Phnom Penh. By far the largest casino in Cambodia, it has hundreds of slot machines, table games such as blackjack and baccarat. The casino is run by Hong Kong-based NagaCorp, which has an exclusive deal with the Cambodian government to operate the only casino in Phnom Penh.
- NagaCorp is currently building a hotel extension and shopping mall, Naga City Walk, next to the casino, which is predicted to open in August 2016. The hotel has a great selection of luxurious rooms and suites, with a fitness centre and swimming pool for guests.
- Gaming in NagaWorld is split into two areas: the Public Hall, which is aimed at most gamblers, and the Premium Hall, aimed at VIPs. As of 2015, there are more than 1,500 slot machines and close to 200 tables available to players.
- All games in NagaWorld use US dollars. There are ATMs and a Western Union office for cash advances within the casino complex. Since 2014, NagaWorld also offers betting on international sports events.
- More than 1,500 slot machines offering gaming from one cent per line.
- Table games including blackjack, baccarat and roulette.
- Ten restaurants and bars, live music and a 525-room luxury hotel.
- Luxury fashion boutiques and a selection of retail shops.
- Most popular table games are present at NagaWorld. The most popular game is baccarat, with a selection of busy tables. The minimum bet for most tables is $10, although some tables have $5 minimum betting on weekdays.
- Blackjack, roulette, three card poker and Caribbean stud poker are also available. Games that are popular in Western countries, such as poker and blackjack, generally attract less of a busy audience at NagaWorld than baccarat and other games more popular in Asia.
- It’s worth checking the rules for games such as blackjack before playing in NagaWorld, as there are often different payout ratios and restrictions on doubling bets that Western players may not be familiar with.
- With over 1,500 slot machines, Nagaworld offers a great deal of variety. Many machines have a minimum bet of one cent per line, making them ideal for fun, inexpensive gaming. Some of the casino’s slot machines have minimum bets starting from $1 and a variety of betting options.
- In the event that you win money from one of the slot machines at NagaWorld, casino attendants will manually process the payout for you.
Gambling in Sihanoukville
Sihanoukville Beach © 7347837@N08
The small resort city of Sihanoukville has 14 casinos. While many are small operations with just a few tables and slot machines, developments like the Sokha Resort Hotel and Queen Casino offer a surprisingly good selection of games.
- Sokha Resort Hotel is a modern beach resort in Sihanoukville with a selection of rooms right on the beach. The resort also operates a large casino called Sokha Vegas, which is open 24 hours a day and has slot machines and electronic roulette wheels.
- Queenco Hotel and Casino is one of the largest casinos in Sihanoukville. Open 24 hours a day, the casino — which covers more than 1,000 square metres — has 138 slot machines, a selection of popular table games such as blackjack and baccarat and several electronic roulette wheels.
- Unlike many other casinos in Cambodia, which focus on blackjack and baccarat, Queenco is a popular choice for poker, with a premium poker room that hosts one stop of the annual Asian Poker Series.
Gambling in Poipet
- Poipet, a town on the Thai/Cambodian border, has been developed into a gambling destination over the last decade. The town’s proximity to Thailand makes it a major gaming hub for Thais, as there are no legal casinos within Thailand.
- While Poipet’s casinos are far from glamorous, they offer a reasonable selection of table games and slot machines that will keep most players satisfied. However, there is little poker, black jack or other games popular with Westerners.
- Unlike Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh, which have plenty of attractions aside from gambling, there is little to do in Poipet outside the casinos. Many players have also reported scams and cheating within the casinos, making it a better choice to visit Phnom Penh or Sihanoukville.
Other Gambling in Cambodia
- In addition to Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Poipet, there are several small casinos in other cities in Cambodia. Pailin, another border province close to Thailand, has a selection of small casinos and gambling halls with slot machines and some table gaming.
- There are also casinos close to the Cambodia/Vietnam border, almost all of which are aimed at Vietnamese tourists. The border crossing at Bavet is home to a small selection of casinos, with the Titan King Casino Hotel and Resort the most popular. Like Poipet, Bavet has little to offer other than gambling and isn’t particularly welcoming to Westerners.