Cambodia becomes gambling heaven, adds 52 new casino licenses in 2018

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Cambodia Becomes Gambling Heaven, Adds 52 New Casino Licenses In 2018
Chinese-funded casino in Sihanoukville © Arno Maierbrugger

Cambodia granted 52 licenses for new casinos in 2018; pushing the number of gambling facilities up by 53 per cent over the previous year, the Ministry of Economy and Finance reported.

Overall, about 150 casinos are now in operation in the country, up from 98 in 2017, with the largest one being NagaWorld in Phnom Penh.

In the resort town of Sihanoukville alone, there are now 88 casinos, said Ros Phirun, deputy director-general of the ministry’s General Department of Financial Industry – the gambling business regulator in the country.

This has turned the province and its provincial capital into one of Asia’s gambling meccas. Both have experienced a building boom in the past few years thanks to a steady flow of Chinese investment in hotels, casinos and real estate.

However, one of the side effects of China’s growing presence and investments, especially in south-western Cambodia, has been crime and instability, provincial governor Yun Min said in a letter to the central government.

The presence of so many gambling facilities is a source of concern for its impact on locals. Although Cambodians are not allowed in the casinos, groups like the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability have warned that more and more of them are falling into poverty from gambling.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Chinese-funded casino in Sihanoukville © Arno Maierbrugger

Cambodia granted 52 licenses for new casinos in 2018; pushing the number of gambling facilities up by 53 per cent over the previous year, the Ministry of Economy and Finance reported.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Cambodia Becomes Gambling Heaven, Adds 52 New Casino Licenses In 2018
Chinese-funded casino in Sihanoukville © Arno Maierbrugger

Cambodia granted 52 licenses for new casinos in 2018; pushing the number of gambling facilities up by 53 per cent over the previous year, the Ministry of Economy and Finance reported.

Overall, about 150 casinos are now in operation in the country, up from 98 in 2017, with the largest one being NagaWorld in Phnom Penh.

In the resort town of Sihanoukville alone, there are now 88 casinos, said Ros Phirun, deputy director-general of the ministry’s General Department of Financial Industry – the gambling business regulator in the country.

This has turned the province and its provincial capital into one of Asia’s gambling meccas. Both have experienced a building boom in the past few years thanks to a steady flow of Chinese investment in hotels, casinos and real estate.

However, one of the side effects of China’s growing presence and investments, especially in south-western Cambodia, has been crime and instability, provincial governor Yun Min said in a letter to the central government.

The presence of so many gambling facilities is a source of concern for its impact on locals. Although Cambodians are not allowed in the casinos, groups like the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability have warned that more and more of them are falling into poverty from gambling.

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