The gambling industry in Cambodia is experiencing rapid development at the moment as a brand new legislation which aims to draw foreign investors is being considered by the authorities. With this move, the gaming industry is going to see the introduction of new capital and a breath of fresh air which has the potential to shape the industry and lead it in a whole new direction.
As it is known, this year is going to see general elections and this is going to pave the way for the new legislation to be passed. The kingdom located in South East Asia has a well-developed gambling industry which could use some boosting from international casino investment. For the last three years the authorities have been considering this move and the legislation is finally going to have its chance to be approved following the elections in 2018.
Casino facilities in the country are venues which prohibit Cambodians from participating in gambling activities, as they are open to foreigners only. The restrictions go so far as the employees usually being foreign nationals as well which further solidifies the notion that these venues are not meant for the locals. Despite the current status of the casino industry, it should be taken into account that it casino operators have been in operation in Cambodia for more than 20 years now, ever since 1994 when the first casino license was granted.
Timeline of Gambling Development
Back then Chen Lip Keong, Chief Executive and Majority Shareholder of NagaCorp, gave green light to a boasting gambling industry which brought to life major projects to the likings of Naga World Casino Resort in the capital Phnom Penh, as well as Naga2 which officially launched operation back in November 2017.
Naga World has a monopoly over this region, but there are also other gambling venues located near the border with Thailand, in the town of Poipet, as well as in the seaport of Sihanoukville. There is also a gambling community near the border with Vietnam, which draws foreigners from the neighboring country as well.
However, it was recently confirmed that the government of Vietnam is going to allow its national to participate in gaming activities in local casinos, so Cambodia decided to focus on foreign investors. VIP gambling enthusiasts from China see the location as an alternative to Macau and with the help of the eased visa rules, now they have more freedom to travel to Cambodia. According to the figures for 2017, this change resulted in China becoming the main source of tourists traveling to Cambodia, to reach 1.2 million and a 40-percent jump in comparison to 2016.
Furthermore, the area of Poipet also has the potential to become an even bigger magnet for Thailand nationals and since the government has noticed this tendency, it is looking forward to developing in this region. The plan is to turn it into an industrial zone which could generate more revenue and boost the development of the region. At the moment, casino venues in Poipet enjoy the attention of Thailand players, as well as customers from Indonesia and Malaysia.