Cambodia and Vietnam have been engaged in conflict for several years. In 1978 the two countries were involved in a bloody war. But a few years ago they reached agreement over the situation of the border. So in September the very first border marker was installed at Bavet and it was estimated the work should end in 2008. Unfortunately this final date wasn’t respected because the documents setting out this border weren’t precise enough and the two countries couldn’t find a solution.Cambodia, tired of waiting, decided to take things in hand and demarcate its territory. The most surprising thing is the way it went about delimiting its border. In fact, it built casinos at the largest border posts such as Bavet and Poipet. This idea is so surprising especially when one knows that normally it is usually the armed forces who protect borders.As a result several gaming complexes have been put in place along the border. These brand new establishments offer a wide range of games as well as state of the art hotels. However, Cambodians are not allowed to gamble. The Prime Minister, Hun Sen, has explained that these casinos will not only mark out their territory and protect their border but they will also attract many tourists including their Vietnamese neighbours, who cannot gamble in their own country due to a strict ban. Needless to say, all of this money is financial manna and will create many jobs.
The Prime Minister would have preferred that the construction of many casinos near border posts remain secret and all of this is part of a strategy to protect his country. He has also said that while he doesn’t like casinos he recognised the fact that their construction was absolutely necessary because in contrast to border posts, they cannot be moved.