Casino boom in Cambodia unabated despite growing concerns

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Casino boom in Sihanoukville © Arno Maierbrugger

The number of casino licenses issued in Cambodia continues to soar, with the Ministry of Finance revealing another 13 licenses had been issued during the first four months of 2019.

The new licenses lift the nationwide total to a new high of 163, with more than half of those – 91 to be precise – located in the southern resort town of Sihanoukville.

The rapid rate of development in Sihanoukville, primarily relating to new casino resorts funded by Chinese investment, has become a major point of contention in recent years amid concerns over growing violence and widespread pollution, as well as dangers owing to shoddy construction.

In March, officials ordered the closure of the Jin Ding Hotel and Casino following multiple complaints that the resort was flushing raw sewage straight into the sea.

In June, a seven-storey building collapsed in Sihanoukville, killing at least 28 people and injuring dozens. The building under construction was owned by a Chinese company.

Meanwhile, there are more casinos being built in the capital Phnom Penh, as well as in another coastal town in the south, Kampot, which has originally become a refuge for local and foreign businesses from Sihanoukville after the influx of Chinese builders, casino operators and tourists.

However, the government is not slowing down the casino business as it is expecting to collect around $70 million from the gaming industry in 2019, up from $46 million last year, according to the Khmer Times.

The Cambodian government is currently working on a draft gaming bill, the “law on the management of integrated resorts and commercial gambling,” aimed at refining regulation of the industry.

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Casino boom in Sihanoukville © Arno Maierbrugger The number of casino licenses issued in Cambodia continues to soar, with the Ministry of Finance revealing another 13 licenses had been issued during the first four months of 2019. The new licenses lift the nationwide total to a new high of 163, with more than half of those – 91 to be precise – located in the southern resort town of Sihanoukville. The rapid rate of development in Sihanoukville, primarily relating to new casino resorts funded by Chinese investment, has become a major point of contention in recent years amid concerns over...

Auto Draft
Casino boom in Sihanoukville © Arno Maierbrugger

The number of casino licenses issued in Cambodia continues to soar, with the Ministry of Finance revealing another 13 licenses had been issued during the first four months of 2019.

The new licenses lift the nationwide total to a new high of 163, with more than half of those – 91 to be precise – located in the southern resort town of Sihanoukville.

The rapid rate of development in Sihanoukville, primarily relating to new casino resorts funded by Chinese investment, has become a major point of contention in recent years amid concerns over growing violence and widespread pollution, as well as dangers owing to shoddy construction.

In March, officials ordered the closure of the Jin Ding Hotel and Casino following multiple complaints that the resort was flushing raw sewage straight into the sea.

In June, a seven-storey building collapsed in Sihanoukville, killing at least 28 people and injuring dozens. The building under construction was owned by a Chinese company.

Meanwhile, there are more casinos being built in the capital Phnom Penh, as well as in another coastal town in the south, Kampot, which has originally become a refuge for local and foreign businesses from Sihanoukville after the influx of Chinese builders, casino operators and tourists.

However, the government is not slowing down the casino business as it is expecting to collect around $70 million from the gaming industry in 2019, up from $46 million last year, according to the Khmer Times.

The Cambodian government is currently working on a draft gaming bill, the “law on the management of integrated resorts and commercial gambling,” aimed at refining regulation of the industry.

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