Sihanoukville Covid resurgence

Cambodia Ministry of Economy and Finance Deputy Director Ros Phirun has revealed to the local media that tax revenues collected from Cambodia’s casino industry fell about 53 percent between 2019 and the year of the coronavirus 2020.

Concretely, tax revenues had been about US$85 million for the full year 2019, but this number plummeted to only US$40 million in 2020.

“As we’re all too well aware, the Covid-19 epidemic began in late 2019 and persists to this day. It’s pulverized all economic sectors, and the casino industry has sustained a crippling blow as well. Practically all of our casinos ceased operation in 2020, with only just seven or eight left scrambling to keep their businesses afloat. That’s why our revenue collection has dropped so much,” he said, according to the Phnom Penh Post.

All of the kingdom’s casinos had been ordered to suspend operations between April and August last year as a measure to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Hun Sen’s August 2019 decision to ban online gambling by the end of that year is also cited as a contributing factor to the sharp decline in tax revenues.

Michael Penn is a journalist and scholar based in Tokyo, Japan. As a journalist, he both writes print news articles and produces news videos. On the video side, he has several years of experience doing it all by himself: reporting the stories, shooting the video, and editing the packages. As a scholar, the bulk of his past publications have been about Japan's modern relations with the Islamic world.