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Phnom Penh's NagaWorld Resort and Casino

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NagaWorld, the only integrated resort and casino in Phnom Penh and touted as the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, currently holds a privileged position in Cambodia's gaming industry: a unique government agreement for a seventy-year gaming license until 2065 and a casino monopoly agreement for Phnom Penh City until 2035. Its corporate management cleverly leveraged NagaWorld's special status with the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) to facilitate stellar profits. This article analyzes the intersection of NagaWorld's business history with the political economy of Cambodia from the 1990s. It argues that NagaWorld's special relationship with politicians can be understood in terms of its status as a new form of "monopoly revenue farm" within Cambodia's custom of patron clientism. Its viability as a business model for casino capitalism in other areas of Southeast Asia may be limited unless similar monopoly conditions can be replicated.
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Keywords: CAMBODIA; CASINOS; GAMBLING; NAGAWORLD; PATRONAGE; REVENUE FARMING; TOURISM

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2017

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