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. The law was adopted almost in unanimity with 114 votes from 117, and will now be 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,” declared the 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 is the establishment of minimum investment requirements for any businesses looking to establish a casino operation, implementation of clearly designated gambling zones within Cambodia, the 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 the 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 a more attractive regulatory framework with which to attract more foreign direct investment.
Earlier in July, Government spokesman Phay Siphan said “a 1996 Law on the Suppression of Gambling paved the way for commercial gambling in Cambodia. Many countries had made commercial gambling a tool for tourist entertainment because the sector was under competitive pressures and new ideas were needed.”
“The efficient implementation of this law is to tighten the management of the casino sector and other commercial gambling more strongly and benefits the national economy and the Cambodian people,” Siphan said.
Pornmoniroth declared that the “Regulations on the commercial gambling sector are designed to enable the sector to operate under the umbrella of transparent law,”
“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,” Pornmoniroth added.
It has been reported that there are currently 193 casinos licensed in Cambodia and the gambling law has been in the works for nine years by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Interior, said spokesman Phay Siphan.