All Aces

Steelman redesigns Phnom Penh casino and resort complex


  • Steelman remodeled more than 1 million sq. ft. in Cambodia’s premier casino resort
  • Steelman has designed some of the most successful global casinos
  • Technology was key to coordinate from offices around the world

When Las Vegas-based Steelman Partners embarked on a redesign of Naga World, the premier casino in Phnom Penh, in 2015, they had lots of experience to draw on. Steelman has made a name for itself as one of the most successful casino design companies in the world. With offices in the US, Asia and Europe, Steelman has built some of the most famous—and profitable—casinos in the world, including the Sands Macau, MGM Grand Casino and Theme Park in Las Vegas, and the Sochi Casino and Resort in Russia.

NagaWorld Hotel & Entertainment Complex is an integrated resort that includes over 700 rooms and suites, a premium casino, luxury spa, multiple restaurants, and conference and banquet facilities. Steelman’s redesign comprised over 1 million square feet of space, from the Naga City Walk, Cambodia’s first underground shopping mall, to Naga 2, a complex near the main casino that includes a gaming and entertainment complex, two five-star hotels, luxury shopping and world-class dining establishments.

Southeast Asia is expected to be one of the hottest growth areas for the gambling industry in 2016-2022. Here’s a look at revenue growth from gambling across the years. (In millions of $US.)

The biggest challenge Steelman faced was coordinating the flow and exchange of information between offices in Cambodia, Macau and Las Vegas, as well as coordination across architecture, interior design and lighting design departments. NagaWorld gets its name from a mythical creature, the Naga, a seven-headed dragon said to reside in the rivers and provide protection to Phnom Penh. In some ways, the redesign itself resembled a Naga—a multi-pronged effort comprising various departments working on specific tasks, each pushing for the perfection of their unique design, and yet needing to be fully integrated with a singular vision. Steelman relied on Bluebeam Revu® and Studio as a platform to keep all the project information easily accessible to all team members.

By creating individual sessions in Studio for each interior design area, they were able to coordinate drawings and interact with team members in the other offices and departments in real time. Office guidelines were put in place to ensure all employees were using standard colors for each type of edit or markup to avoid confusion about which changes needed to be made.

Steelman also created field visit reports in Revu to replace Microsoft Word documents, thereby reducing the offices’ use of paper. Electronic interactive submittal stamps were created to replace physical stamps, making it easier to approve changes. While turnaround time for submittals is typically 3-5 business days on projects, Steelman’s extensive use of Revu allowed for a 24-hour turnaround for most submittals. That’s hundreds of days of waiting saved over the life of the project.

The casino industry boasts an increasingly complex business model predicated not only on profits from gaming, but also on luxury spending and dining dollars. Steelman’s magnificent and efficient renovation of the NagaWorld resort got the dice rolling on the green felt, diners in restaurant chairs and shoppers at the register quicker than ever.