Breakneck expansion sparks environment, safety concerns

Courtesy: Andrew Klebanow

The expansion of Cambodia’s casino industry has continued apace into 2019, though the collapse of a building in Sihanoukville in June has raised concerns that construction and environmental standards are being ignored in the race for development. Much of the investment, especially into the southern coastal town, has been driven by Mainland China under Beijing’s “one belt, one road” initiative. However, even before the condominium building crumbled, killing 28 workers, there was mounting criticism over the lack of scrutiny over construction and operators. Now the government is taking action, though industry insiders question whether they have the resources to effectively monitor developments. “The building collapse seems to have been a wake up call for the Ministry of Land Management & Urban planning,” said Dominick Stenson, casino director at the Queenco Hotel & Casino in Sihanoukville. “They are now going to check all construction permits on existing projects, particularly steel structure.  “But it will...

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