Cambodia: casino tax revenues halved in 2020

Casinos in Cambodia were closed from April to August 2020.
Casinos in Cambodia were closed from April to August 2020.

Since Cambodia’s casino industry is largely dependant on international travel, revenue from the sector plummeted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cambodia.- Casino tax revenues in Cambodia dropped by more than half in 2020, according to statistics released by government officials.

The combined tax revenue produced by Cambodia’s 193 licensed casinos came to US$40m (£28.9m) in 2020, a 53 per cent decrease from the US$85m generated in 2019.

The losses have been attributed to closures and travel bans due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Cambodian casinos are heavily dependant on international tourism.

The deputy director of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ros Phearun, said: “As we’re all too well aware, the Covid-19 epidemic began in late 2019 and persists to this day. It has pulverized all economic sectors, and the casino industry has sustained a crippling blow as well.

“Practically all of our casinos ceased operation in 2020, with only just seven or eight left scrambling to keep their businesses afloat. That’s why our revenue collection has dropped so much.”

Casinos in Cambodia were closed from April to August last year, and sporadic closures continue to take place.

Earlier this month, a local outbreak of Covid-19 led to a ban on travel to Sihanoukville province, preventing people from entering or leaving the holiday district and casino hub. Some casino employees were trapped inside their workplaces with police surrounding the area.

Inbound travel to Cambodia remains restricted, and the land border with Thailand at Poipet is still closed. However, Star Vegas Resort on the border has remained open, and the property is trying to attract customers from other markets.

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