In 2018, the number of casinos increased by 53% in Cambodia
Cambodia issued 52 licenses to casinos last year, resulting in a total of 150 licensed establishments by the end of 2018. Most of the gambling establishments are located in Preah Sihanoukville province.
According to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, at the end of last year, there were 53% more licensed casinos registered compared to the end of 2017 (98 casinos).
Ros Firun, deputy director of the Department of Financial Industry at the Ministry of Cambodia, as well as a representative of the regulator of gambling business in Cambodia, said that there are 88 casinos in the coastal province alone.
Firun did not provide accurate figures on the income of the gaming industry over the past year, stating that the ministry is currently collecting data and preparing a report.
"We have not yet finalized the report, but according to preliminary forecasts, the profit should be $ 56 million," - he said, adding that casino operators are obliged to pay an annual license fee in amount of $40 thousand.
Sihanoukville is undergoing a massive transformation. The flow of Chinese tourists and investors influenced the market: in a fairly short period of time, not only casinos and luxury resorts appeared here, but also restaurants, street kiosks and shops were transformed.
Noting that casino investors came from different countries, the official representative of the local government agreed that the huge increase in the number of casinos in Sihanoukville could be due to the influx of Chinese travelers and investments.
Since Cambodians are prohibited from visiting casinos, they can only benefit from the presence of gambling establishments by trading or providing services to tourists. In addition, the economic development triggered by the scaling of the gambling business will have a positive impact on the standard of living of Cambodians.
Despite all the positive aspects of operating a casino, there are also disadvantages, such as social unrest, money laundering or human trafficking.
In addition, despite the legislative ban on participation in gambling, according to official data, Cambodians still manage to break the ban with impunity.
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