83 Cambodian casinos still waiting for licence renewal

Authorities issued 70 gaming licences in the first half of the year.
Authorities issued 70 gaming licences in the first half of the year.

The casinos are mainly located on the country’s border with Vietnam.

Cambodia.- A senior Cambodian gaming regulator has told GGRAsia that 83 Cambodian venues have not yet received approval for the renewal of their casino licences. Ros Phirun, secretary general at the Commercial Gambling Management Commission of Cambodia, said that only 87 out of 171 casino licence applications had received renewals as of October 10.

So far, only one has been rejected. The others have not been rejected but cannot yet reopen. Phirun said that in some cases, supporting documents were lacking.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, there were over 200 casinos in Cambodia, where only tourists can legally gamble. Venues offering games are located on the Cambodia-Thailand border, the country’s border with Vietnam and the coastal city of Sihanoukville.

The new Law on the Management of Integrated Resorts and Commercial Gambling (LMCG) establishes a standard for commercial gambling. It establishes a minimum capital for casino investments of KHR800bn (US$200m) for IRs and KHR400bn for non-IRs. There is only one integrated resort in Cambodia, NagaCorp Ltd’s NagaWorld complex.

New controls for Preah Sihanouk casinos

The provincial authorities of Preah Shihanouk have ordered all casino operators to obtain approval from the Preah Sihanouk Administration before applying to the Ministry of Economy and Finance. The measure aims to achieve more control of the gaming industry after cases of human trafficking.

Casino operators can no longer withhold any member of staff’s passport, ID card or work permit. Nor will they be able to prohibit staff from leaving the casino complex. 

Contracts must stipulate wages and working conditions and casinos must not disguise their locations or operate with high fences. Preah Sihanouk governor Kuoch Chamroeun said that if casino operators violate the rules, they will face severe legal sanctions including closure.

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GAMBLING REGULATION land-based casino