he most developed gambling zone is the site near the town of Poi-Pet. You can get here by car (about 4 hours by bus from Bangkok) or on foot (which some Thais prefer) from the nearest village. Usually, it is through this gambling zone that a tourist route passes, wishing to enjoy the fantastic beauties of Angkor Wat, one of the largest ancient temple complexes on our planet, located in the jungles near the Cambodian town of Siem Reap.
Buses arrive at the customs post and land travelers. The picture that appears before your eyes, few people can leave indifferent. Those tourists who visited the border shared their unique impressions: “Where the border begins, civilized life ends, the road ends, and there is a feeling that the sun is going to fade.”. Crowds of hungry and dirty children with unhappy eyes rushed to your feet, begging for anything. The rickshaws in the gray-clad clothes dragged on the wooden carts heavy bags and various goods through the clouds of dust. A lot of people were ready to help fill out the documents and escort for a moderate reward, so that, as they explained, we safely crossed the border. What will happen when we go through customs between Thailand and Cambodia?
After overcoming the outpost, a beautiful arch with the inscription “Kingdom of Cambodia” appeared, and the number of destitute fell sharply, only dust and rickshaws dragging their burden from one to the other part of the neutral zone and back. Behind this arch, there is a zone of duty-free trade. It represents the market on the trays with a whole kaleidoscope of goods, souvenirs, and cigarettes at low prices. Boutiques and more general stores, as it later turned out, are located in the casino.
What kind of casinos can be among such poverty? At the entrance to the first casino that came across, a different picture was opened! Everything sparkles and shines, modern chic design and interior. At the entrance visitors greeted by a smiling hostess who politely offered in English to become your guide in the world of entertainment and pleasure, which accompanying you to reception and passing through the guard post with metal detectors.
In the vast hall, there is a vast number of expensive import slot machines, such world brands as Williams, Konami, Aristocrat, connected to various diverse jackpot systems, electronic and electronic-mechanical roulettes. There are about 50 gaming tables in the casino hall, because of which exclamations of joy and disappointment are heard.
In total, in the neutral border zone, which is a small section about two kilometers long, there are seven casinos: Holiday Palace, Holiday Poipet, Star Vegas International Resort, Princess Crown, Golden Crown, Tropicana and Grand Diamond City. Not every Vegas casino could boast of such an abundance of slot machines and gaming tables, as well as service and a variety of games. The border casinos reminded Las Vegas: large spaces, a lot of noise and fun, an atmosphere of celebration and excitement that waits for you wherever you are inside the complex. Almost every casino has its hotel, boutiques, restaurants, as well as additional services such as massage, swimming pool, and even golf courses. Players are offered a free buffet, cigarettes, drinks.
Almost every casino is lavish in various imported slot machines and jackpots. You can also find pushchairs, electronic jumps, video baccarat (electronic baccarat, where the main game takes place on a large plasma panel, and players place bets on electronic scoreboards) and even a robotic baccarat (players bet on the electronic scoreboard, and under the glass dome of the card distributes and turns the giant mechanical arm). In each gambling house, there are more than 50 gaming tables, offering different gambling, not only card games. The most substantial number of gaming tables with baccarat, the most popular game among Asians, and its different varieties, fewer poker tables, few tables for playing in the popular blackjack.
As for the game of poker, it is very conservative in many local casinos. In addition to the bonuses, everything else is represented in its original form – an oasis of poker without a card exchange. There was an impression that here and the nobility do not know about the number of poker varieties and rules that are represented in European countries. Or maybe they do not want to know. But people sit and play.
Finding a table for blackjack turned out to be a lesser problem than playing this game. After a ten-minute tedious stay at the empty table and calling the manager, players would be invited to play other games, and players’ rejection of so much tempting offer led to a nervous throwing of the manager around the hall and a long wait for the dealer, but the table will be opened for you.
Baccarat. To say that Asians like baccarat is not to say anything. They adore it. In the casino, the most significant number of tables for baccarat and only a small amount of them is empty. People play it fun and eccentric, crushing and scattering cards.
In addition to these favorite games, you can find roulette, craps, a wheel of fortune, pay-go, three-card poker, Tai sai, Pok daeng, Sip them, Tai sai, Fun tan, and Fun Tan dice.
Most of these games are not understandable and challenging for Europeans. The casino staff can help you understand the rules of the games at the request of the client, but enough time is needed to develop many such games. Things are not very good at the border with free time. If you are a little delayed, you have to spend all night here, because, in contrast to casinos, which work around the clock, border checkpoints are working from 9:00 to 17:00.
Crossing the gambling zone and customs, you find yourself in the territory of the Kingdom of Cambodia and again immersed in the world of poverty, the world of workers and peasants.