The first edition of the Mekong Gaming Summit, a two-day conference focused on gaming developments across the region, kicks off on Tuesday in the bustling city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
More than 170 gaming executives from the Mekong region are set to attend, making it one of the largest standalone gaming conferences in the region to date.
And it could not come at a better time.
Over the last few weeks, the Chinese government has been flexing its muscles with the aim of putting an end to online gaming businesses that have been targeting their nationals.
Cambodia, the benefactor of billions in Chinese investment, has swiftly responded with a ban on the issue of any further online licenses and said it won’t renew existing ones when they expire.
More than 10,000 Chinese nationals left the country in haste following the news, concerned about the impending crackdown on the industry. Flights were fully booked and airports were packed.
The Philippines responded, to a lesser extent, saying it would put a temporary halt on new licenses for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators while it reviews regulations. A full ban is not likely, say experts.
Vietnam has seen more optimistic news, especially for investors, after the Ministry of Finance proposed an easing of casino investment requirements in special economic zones.
In focus at the Mekong Gaming Summit is also Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar, some of which have been seen as the “sleeping giants” of gaming in Asia.
The event will also look into changing gaming habits in the region, and where / how to set up your SE-Asia gaming business.
The event will kick off on Tuesday morning at 9 am with opening remarks from the organizer, Rosalind Wade of Asia Gaming Brief.
Keynote speakers to the conference include H.E. Madam Nguon Sokha, Secretary of State, Ministry of Economy and Finance, H.E. Mey Vann, Delegate to the Royal Government in charge as Director General, General Department of Financial Industry and Ros Phirun, the deputy director-general of the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Stay tuned as we release updates and news articles throughout the conference.
The event will be held at the Sofitel Phnom Penh from 10-11 September 2019. Walk-ins are welcome but will be subject to a “walk-in” price.