In Cambodia and up to 3,000 employees of the giant NagaWorld integrated casino resort reportedly took to the streets of Phnom Penh yesterday in an effort to obtain higher wages and improved working conditions.
According to reports from Inside Asian Gaming and the Reuters news service, the NagaWorld venue is run by Asian casino operator NagaCorp Limited and was recently granted a ten-year extension to the exclusivity clause contained within its Cambodian gaming license. As such, no other concern is now purportedly allowed to open or run a gaming establishment within a 124-mile radius of Phnom Penh until at least the end of 2045.
Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp Limited opened the 16-story NagaWorld development in 2003 and the facility currently features a 700-room hotel as well as a luxury spa, conference facilities and a casino offering a selection of over 1,500 slots alongside some 169 gaming tables. The Cambodian property is moreover currently in the process of adding a further 4,720 hotel rooms and 5.8 million sq ft of floor space via its adjacent Naga3 development with this $3.5 billion scheme widely expected to be open before the conclusion of 2026.
Buoyed by its business in Phnom Penh and NagaCorp Limited reportedly experienced a 20% rise year-on-year in gross gaming revenues to $1.29 billion for the nine months to the end of September while its associated net figure improved by an even more impressive 29% to top $616 million.
However, this success has seemingly not trickled down to NagaWorld’s workers with Inside Asian Gaming reporting that the current starting monthly salary for employees stands at just $150. Unhappy with this state of affairs and protestors purportedly used the Thursday action to ask that hotel staff be paid at least $300 every month and that gaming floor workers be rewarded with a $500 minimum monthly salary.
Reuters reported that the protestors moreover called for former NagaWorld employee and labor union leader Chhim Sithar to be reinstated after she was fired in September for allegedly attempting to organize a campaign for higher wages.
Protester and NagaWorld employee By Kunthea reportedly furthermore told the news service that the venue recently circulated a memo that warned workers they would be sacked if they went out on strike.
Kunthea reportedly told Reuters…
“We demand a raise for workers. We need to pay rent and food prices nowadays have also gone up. The company makes a lot of profits.”
Alongside these requests, NagaWorld card dealer Chan Maiya Mouy reportedly told the news service that protestors were also asking for a range of better working conditions including protections from disgruntled gamblers and compulsory comfort breaks.
Muoy reportedly detailed…
“We can’t go to the toilet if there is no one to fill in for us. When gamblers lose, they curse us and throw water bottles at us.”