Cambodia Introduces and Enacts New Gambling Law

Cambodia has rolled out a new casino industry law that will guarantee fairer and more transparent gambling rules for consumers and businesses.

New Casino Regulations Take Force in Cambodia 

Cambodia is looking to update what is an out-of-date casino industry regulatory framework. To this end the Cambodia’s National Assembly passed a law in October, to help establish a clear-cut regulation and facilitate anti-money laundering audits and identify verifications, a request put in by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

The new framework was approved by the National Assembly with an overwhelming majority consisting of 114 out of 117 votes, and the backing of Cambodia’s Senate.

However, the law only went into effect on Saturday, November 14, as confirmed by Cambodia’s Deputy Director at the Ministry of Economic and Finance Ros Phirun.

Cambodia is not just looking to update an ossified regulatory framework, Phirun explained, but rather allow the  Law on the Management of Integrated Resorts and Commercial Gambling (LMCG) to boost the country’s tourism and spur economic growth.

Something similar is happening in Macau where the government is trying to diversify its revenue away from gambling revenue.

The country saw difficult times managing its gambling industry with the government agreeing to shut down online operations, not least because of China, and see some 7,700 Cambodians lose their jobs.

Cambodia was further impacted by the global pandemic same as all other regions, mandating a shutdown on all brick-and-mortar casino properties in April but restarting operations back up in July. 

What Does the New Law Mean for Cambodia?

Cambodia will be looking to benefit from the enacted legal changes, with the law now seeking a 4-per cent tax from VIP gaming and 7-per cent from the recreational vertical.

A new watchdog known as the Integrated Resort Management and Commercial Gambling Committee will be in charge of enforcing the new regulation.

The watchdog will include 11 government ministers to be shortlisted and approved soon. Cambodia will now designate special pre-approved zones where gambling operations can take place as well as assign prohibited areas of operation.

The country will also assign a special “favored zone” status, which means that the government may permit gambling operations there in future.

Cambodia’s new regulatory framework is a first attempt by the country to enforce laws that allow authorities to regulate gambling with fairness and seek fairer gaming conditions for everyone.

A similar sentiment was expressed by the Minister for Economy and Finance, Aun Pornmoniroth, who said that all of these changes were enacted with the sole purpose of making it possible for gaming operators to operate under a transparent and impartial law.

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