New rules to trigger consolidation

Cambodia’s long-awaited gambling legislation is likely to be published mid-year and could herald the start of a dramatic shake out of the country’s 65 casinos. A draft copy of the bill was circulated for industry feedback in December. It is expected to set out a new system of taxation, as well as formalizing a system for licensing; regulation of junkets; accounting and reporting procedures; greater disclosures and anti money laundering rules. According to operators on a panel at the recent ASEAN Gaming Summit, the regulation is viewed as a highly positive development for the industry in Cambodia, which is very fragmented, consisting mostly of small clusters of casinos grouped along the borders with neighboring Vietnam and Thailand. Although details of the new bill have yet to be finalized, there is expected to be a minimum investment requirement of between $50 million to $100 million over ten years. According to Rhys Jones, managing...

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