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Cambodia needs to reinvent itself amid a dynamic changing market landscape: panelist  


The accelerating move by the Thai government to legalize casinos is forcing the Cambodian gaming operator Naga Corp to ‘redefine’ its strategy, says gaming expert Daniel Li, a senior consultant at the Commercial Gambling Management Commission of Cambodia (CGMCC).

Speaking in a personal capacity during the 6th ASEAN Gaming Summit, Daniel Li shares that the successful story of Naga Corp happened due to the region’s circumstances, with the Cambodian market being in a “very unique and niche jurisdiction where Thailand would not have a casino”.

Although the Thai casino bill still needs consideration in the National Assembly, taking into account recent developments in Thailand, Li considers that Naga will “need to redefine the story and also reshape this pattern,” as Thailand is likely to become a much larger and stronger competitor.

Meanwhile, NagaCorp needs $472 million to repay maturing bonds by July this year. These are real challenges that the gaming operator is facing now, says the panelist.

In addition, at the panel entitled “Venturing into: Thailand, UAE, Cambodia, Pacific”, Li also notes that Cambodia is going through a change in leadership to strengthen the government in terms of attracting foreign direct investment and policy direction. “Since the new prime minister assumed office, there have been significant changes in almost all industries”

The CGMCC was established in 2021 followed by the publishing of new gaming law in 2020, which focuses on streamlining processes, as well as reinventing or resetting the gaming scene in Cambodia.

Clarification of ban on gaming expansion

Recently, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet ordered the suspension of license issuance in the nation, while the country is also studying the possibility of revoking licenses due to their negative impact.

However, the Cambodian gaming expert clarifies that what the PM refers to are the lottery businesses, where unregistered games and illegally operated lotteries are affecting creating social issues with Cambodian nationals.

Viviana Chan
Viviana Chan
Viviana Chan is an editor, interpreter, and journalist. With over a decade of experience, she writes in English, Chinese, and Portuguese. Viviana started her career in Macau-based newspapers, where she became passionate about the region's social, financial, and cultural development. Her writing focuses on the economy, emerging industries, gaming development, political affairs, and cross cultural-exchange in the business and cultural domains. She is avid for news and eager to discover and cover stories that generate public relevance.