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Cambodia National Assembly approves draft casino law

Cambodia’s National Assembly has approved its long-awaited draft law on commercial gambling management, aimed at providing greater regulation of the nation’s casino industry.

According to a Tuesday report by The Khmer Times, the draft law, containing 12 Chapters and 97 Articles, secured 114 of a possible 117 votes during a session of the 6th National Assembly legislature this week. It will now be passed onto the senate for further review before being signed into law by the King of Cambodia.

“This law is aimed to ensure management of the integrated commercial gambling centers and commercial gambling to contribute towards boosting economic growth, promoting the tourism sector, creating more jobs, collecting revenue, and maintaining social safety and security,” said Chairman of the National Assembly’s Commission on Economy, Finance, Banking and Audit, Cheam Yeap.

Among the regulatory controls set to come under the new law on commercial gambling management are the establishment of minimum investment requirements for any businesses looking to establish a casino operation, implementation of clearly designated gambling zones within Cambodia, tax rate of 4% on VIP GGR and 7% on mass market GGR, plus enhanced anti-money laundering and terror financing controls.

Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth said it would provide measures to build greater capacity, including utilization of appropriate technology, to improve monitoring of casinos.

However, it also aims to assist Cambodia’s casino industry to become competitive on a global scale by providing more attractive regulatory framework with which to attract more foreign direct investment.

“Regulations on the commercial gambling sector are designed to enable the sector to operate under the umbrella of transparent law,” Pornmoniroth said.

“Under the effort of the government and investor’s trust toward the government, some national and international investors started casino investment on the Cambodian-Thai border in the Poipet area in 1999.

“[It is] in the face of the increasing investment [that] the government has pushed for the management of the gambling sector.”

It has been reported that there are currently 193 casinos licensed in Cambodia.

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