The three-year-old booming online casino business in Cambodia has been brought to halt. Announcing the order in August 2019, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said that banning the activity will bring social order in the country.
Cambodia had seen quick growth in the sector after ranking second in Asia, after the Philippines. The gambling was mainly done by the Chinese locals who had set up online gambling companies targeting their fellow citizens. The economy sprouted as many secured jobs and hefty taxes were paid.
However, the government of Cambodia could not support the business anymore.
What happened with the gambling industry in Cambodia?
The rise of the gambling industry in Cambodia kicked off in 2016. When most of the Chinese locals noted that online casino jobs paid better than their factory jobs, they moved to Cambodia. The large numbers of Chinese locals in the port city led to congestion.
So, what happened?
The government of Cambodia noted the high levels of crime that came with online gambling. People would easily be extorted of their money through scams and fraud. Thus, something needed to be done about it.
The Chinese government had the high involvement of its locals with gambling in Cambodia despite it being illegal in the country. Thus, they pressured the Cambodian government to ban this business that brought social problems.
The government, therefore, came with a rule to curb all online casino activities in Cambodia by December 2019. Issuing new licenses had to stop but official license holders would wait until theirs expired.
Gambling in Cambodia will be a past tense by August 2020 when all the outlets will be shut down. The gambling industry will be replaced by other natural and cultural activities that will bring economic growth to all in the country. Hwever, it is expected that many gamblers will switch to online casinos such us Gclub and SCR888 which are very popular in Asian region.
How it is regulated now
Gambling in Cambodia is regulated by the Ministry of Economy and Finance. They issue licenses to new entrants in the market and ensure that casino owners comply with the law. Gambling has been doing well in the last three years except for the recent directive to ban online casinos. The government through the ministry of Economy and Finance will track down those who still operate online casinos in Cambodia.
How big is the Cambodian gambling industry?
Between the years 2016 and 2019, Cambodia was the Las Vegas of Asia. Gambling in all its neighboring countries was illegal making foreigners stream there for gambling opportunities. The government built attractive casinos on the borders of these countries to give the foreigners a chance to play while on the checkpoints. The main market for these casinos was the Chinese who would gamble remotely in Cambodian online casinos.
Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh has many casinos that attract tourists from all walks of life. Worth noting is the NagaCorp which is the biggest hotel with gambling outlets in Cambodia. This monopoly was granted a monopoly license to operate casinos within a 200 km radius in Phnom Penh until 2035. Many gamblers stream here to enjoy their slot games at any time.
Sihanoukville is also another spectacular city with resorts, casinos, slot games and all types of gambling you ever wanted. It’s the fastest-growing port town due to the vibrant casinos found there. Each day, this city is growing rapidly with new entrants being found in the market.
In other towns like Bavet, Pailin, and Poipet, gambling has taken the course and has so far attracted very many gamblers. Foreigners grab their games of choice at these online gaming destinations whenever they need to.
Similarly, the online gambling scene in Cambodia is also big.