No more online gambling in Cambodia? Image source: russia-asean20.ru
Cambodia will make big changes in the online gambling industry by the end of 2019. The news made headlines back in August when Prime Minister Hun Sen declared that the government will terminate the issuing of license by the end of this year. Minister Pornmoniroth states that the revenue from the gambling industry will drop following the Cambodia gambling ban.
Recently, the Chinese government made an appeal to the President of the Philippines, to ban online gambling in his country; due to the fact that Chinese expats were illegally participating in gambling activities in the Philippines’ online gambling market. The government demands that the citizens refrain from gambling since gambling of any sort is illegal in China.
However, the request was denied by President Duterte saying they can not give up the benefits of this industry for their economy. On the contrary, Cambodia announced that it will cease all licensing for online gambling.
Cambodia Gambling Ban and the discontinuation of gambling licenses
Cambodia is standing by China and proving to be a considerate neighbor while China tackles the gambling issue. The Cambodian government concurs to the fact that online gambling is dangerous unregulated territory. Previously, the Ministry of Finance has issued licenses to brand the activities as legal and under supervision.
Prior to the directive by the Prime Minister, Ros Phearun from the Ministry of Finance has reports the issuing of 215 licenses this year alone. Online gambling sites in Cambodia suggests that the gambling industry licenses saw an increase from the 150 in 2018. The purpose of these licenses was to operate the gambling market in Preah Sihanouk province. However, before the expanding gambling culture can flourish any further it has been put to a stop.
Cambodia Gambling Ban and the decrease in 2020 budget
Similar to the situation in the Philippines, Cambodia has been collecting revenue from the online gambling industry operating in their country. Whilst the Philippines overlooked the request and continues to reap the benefits, Cambodia has to give up the profit.
Ministry of Finance was able to collect $50M from the online gambling industry 2018, and the predictions were to salvage more in the current year. Minister Pornmoniroth states this figure “will drop in 2020 because online gambling is banned.” Nevertheless, Minister Pornmoniroth suggests that Cambodia “needs Chinese investment, except for online gambling,” and that the ministry would “work out a new system” for Sihanoukville “to attract scrupulous Chinese investment.”
Since most of the operations were under Chinese Nationals, the economic growth in Sihanoukville was booming. Recently, online gambling news in Cambodia reports that Chinese Nationals left the country upon the aforementioned announcement. Unfortunately for the real estate investors, the entire scenario has them in a predicament. The rather fast devaluation of the property has led to a financial crisis for local real estate companies.
Cambodia is struggling to find its footing in this dilemma.