Cambodia introduces new gaming law

The law states that a new regulatory body for gambling must be established.
The law states that a new regulatory body for gambling must be established.

The legislation establishes taxes of 7 per cent tax on mass GGR and 4 per cent on VIP operations.

Cambodia.- The the Ministry of Economy and Finance has officially published the new Law on the Management of Integrated Resorts and Commercial Gambling (LMCG).

The legislation, which was passed by the National Assembly in August, is intended to boost the economic growth by promoting the tourism sector and creating jobs. It also legislates on tax revenues, competencies, rules and procedures for integrated commercial gambling centres and commercial gambling.

The law establishes a standard for commercial gambling and a minimum capital for casino investments in the Kingdom of Cambodia, where only tourists can legally gamble.

The legislation divides Cambodia into three distinct gaming zones: Prohibited Zones where gaming is not allowed in any shape or form, Permitted Zones, where operators such as NagaCorp already hold gaming licences, and Favored Zones, such as the coastal provinces of Sihanouk and Koh Kong, which are now the only areas where new integrated resorts can be developed.

With 12 Chapters and 97 Articles, the law imposes taxes of 7 per cent on gross gaming revenue (GGR) for mass gaming and 4 per cent on VIP operations.

Michael Zhu, senior vice president of international operations planning and analysis at The Innovation Group, recently told Focus Gaming News Asia Pacific that, with Asia becoming more expensive, the Cambodian rate is still lower than those of Macau, Singapore and Australia, and the planed tax rate on future casinos in Japan.    

The law states that a new regulatory body for gambling must be established. This will probably be the Integrated Resort Management and Commercial Gambling Committee.

When asked by Focus GN Asia Pacific about the potential effect the new law might have for gaming companies, Andrew Klebanow, principal at Klebanow Consulting, said: “I suspect that international operators are already scouting potential distressed properties or looking at land for new developments.

“Eventually, probably within 24 months, you will hear announcements of international operators unveiling new projects, similar to Golden Sun Sky in Sihanoukville.”

Golden Sun Sku is a new hotel and casino that will be operated by Suncity Group)

Recently Xinhua agency reported that there are 193 licenced casinos in Cambodia, although not all of them have reopened after Covid-19 lockdown restrictions since they must first obtain permission from the Ministry of Health.

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