NagaWorld Casino Phnom Penh

Friday, December 20, 2013

Naga World is Phnom Penh's only integrated casino and hotel complex. Its a five star hotel, Spa, meeting & wedding venue, and has several dining options. No doubt the casino is the main attraction. Naga World is owned by a company called NagaCorp which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. NagaCorp has a licence to operate Naga World Casino up to the year 2065 and has a monopoly to operate a casino within the 200 KM radius of Phnom Penh up to the year 2035. I do not know if Cambodia has a Gaming Law to regulate gaming in the interest of the players like the Laws put in place by Macau, Singapore, and Las  Vegas. Whether or not, players visiting Naga World are only too grateful to have a casino like that in Phnom Penh. Though, Cambodia does have some other small casinos in the areas bordering Thailand but those do not come anywhere close to the size and grandeur of Naga World. Recently, the casino has introduced a player loyalty program called Golden Edge. This membership card can be used to gather loyalty points while gambling in the casino. Currently, the card cannot be used at gaming tables or in most of the slot machines. Only a few automated gaming machines that have the option of playing Roulette, Blackjack or Baccarat (at the back of the hall towards the right side of the casino lobby) accept these cards. New membership cards can be obtained from the Golden Edge counter in the lobby. I even got a free Buffet Dinner coupon along with my new membership card. The buffet dinner is nice if you like Chinese food and are not vegetarian. Read about gaming tables, slots, minimum bets, gaming rules, etc. below...

NagaWorld Casino Phnom Penh

Slot Machines and Gaming Tables in Naga World Casino

Naga World has gaming facilities in two areas - Premium Hall and Public Hall. I have not seen the Premium Hall which is meant for high rollers only. The Public Hall is the gaming area spread on both sides of the casino lobby on the ground floor of the building. According to the casino management, there are 180 gaming tables and 700 slot machines in the Public Hall. US dollars is the official casino currency.

Slot Machines

Slot machines can be played with a minimum bet of 1 cent (for 1 line). If you have played slot machines before, you will know that in order to win, the player needs to play all the lines in the slot machine. These days, slot machines offer digital multi-reel games that have 10, 20, or even 500 lines. One has the option of playing a certain number of lines and bet a certain amount of money on each line. If you are playing a 30 reel game and bet 10 cents on each reel, every spin of the game will cost you three US dollars. About half of the slot machines in Naga World have a minimum bet of 1 cent, while others have 5, 10 or 100 cent (1 USD) minimum bets. Payout ratio (long term guaranteed winning percentage) of these machines is unknown, so one should be careful in betting too much money on slots. Some machines offer a guaranteed long term winning of 95% on Max Bet. Max Bet means playing all the lines with the maximum bet allowed on each line. This can be expensive and dangerous business. 95% winning is only the long term average and may not materialise while your money lasts. This also goes on to prove that the rest of the machines pay out much less than 95%. My guess is that slot machines in Naga World pay back from 80-90% of the money played as winnings. The rest is the casino's profit. Slot machines do not payout automatically. That means, one needs to call an attendant who will punch a few keys in the machine and leave you waiting for at least 5 minutes before they bring your winning in cash to you. There are plenty of attendants (pretty girls in modern outfits) around to help you with losing your money on slots.

Naga World Casino Phnom Penh Golden Edge Card Counter

Table Games

The casino has all the popular table games like Blackjack, Baccarat, Caribbean Stud Poker, Casino War, Roulette, Three Card Poker, and Wheel of Fortune. There are few more games that I do not know about,  called Bai Buu, Bai Ngau Ham, and Pai Gao Poker. During weekends, most gaming tables have minimum bets of 10 US dollars. Still, it may be difficult to find an empty seat on popular games. During weekdays, there are a few tables that allow minimum bets of 5 US dollars. The casino is crowded on most days of the week and I would advise visiting on a week day, if possible, not just for the lower minimum bets but also because it would be easy to find a seat at the table of one's choice. Free drinks like tea / coffee / soft drinks are served to players, though service is a bit slow like in most big casinos. Gaming rules are a bit tricky. I noticed that in Blackjack, doubling of bet is allowed only on a few selected dealer hands like 9,10, or 11. Doubling on soft hands (with ace) is not allowed. Such tweaks reduce long term winning percentage for the players. So, unless you are sure of the game you are playing, take it easy. Nothing is worse than losing all your money in a casino. Phnom Penh is not Macau or Las Vegas. At Naga World, you should play only for entertainment and only with the money you can afford to lose in one evening.


Naga World Casino Phnom Penh Lobby

The casino lobby has a stage for entertainment shows that happen every now and then. The building has a Karaoke Club called Club 88 and a Pub called Darlin Darlin. Overall, the casino makes for a great entertainment venue to spend an evening in Phnom Penh. The Spa at NagaWorld offers some great massage packages starting at 78 USD that are great value for money.

Getting There

Naga World is easy to locate. All cab, Tuk Tuk drivers know the place. Just say - Naga World. Tuk Tuk fare from the Riverfront area should be 2 US dollar max.

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I left my day job in October 2013 and became a full time blogger. I love travel and hence a travel blog was the obvious place to start from. The result is I currently live in Bengaluru, India. - Narinder Singh.


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