Casino boom attracts junket interest

Cambodia’s casino boom is continuing, with a 53 percent increase in licenses granted during 2018 and growing interest from Macau-based operators and junkets as Chinese tourism and investment surges. According to the government, there are now 150 licenses, up from 98 the prior year. The majority of the activity was centered on the coastal town of Sihanoukville, which has 88 licenses granted, fuelled by inbound Chinese investment. Local media cited the deputy director general of the ministry’s financial industry office, Ros Phirun, as saying authorities aimed to collect $56 million for 2018. “We are actively drafting a law to govern casino and gambling businesses, and when it is finalized and ready to be activated, we hope revenue from the sector will be bigger,” Phirun said. The long-awaited legislation is expected to attract further investment by creating a regulated market, which will allow for the entry of larger, international players. It is expected...

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