Cambodia Casino Industry Shrinks After License Renewals Drop To Just 143 in 2022
- Only 143 out of the 200 plus casinos in Cambodia have renewed their license in 2022
- The country’s casino industry is still struggling to recover from the pandemic
- Cambodia set to welcome new Naga World Casino in 2022
The number of casinos renewing their licenses in Cambodia has dropped significantly in 2022, mainly due to the impact of COVID-19. So far this year, just 143 casinos have applied to renew their licenses, down from more than 200 the year prior.
Cambodia’s Casino Industry Still Struggling
Ros Phirun, the Secretary General of the Commercial Gambling Management Commission of Cambodia, said new requirements on capital investment, coupled with the financial impact of the pandemic, have made it difficult for several casinos to continue operating in the country. Hence, some license holders in 2021 have decided not to reapply this year, according to Phirun.
Cambodia’s casino industry is struggling to recover following a series of lockdowns that began in 2020. Many of those operating on the border have remained closed for more than two year now, and while the bigger casinos have announced a timeline for reopening, others are likely closing for good.
New rules approved in 2020, which introduced stricter requirements and measures for the gambling sector, including annual renewal of licenses, also added to the burden.
According to local media, Cambodia’s commercial gambling revenue for the first half of the year only accounted for just 8 per cent of the target for the entire year. Whether the industry would hit its full-year gross gaming revenue (GGR) goal of KHR174.2 billion (US$43.55 million) remains to be seen. Phirun said any improvement in casino GGR will rely heavily on the recovery of the country’s tourism industry.
Among the major casinos operating on the Cambodian border is Star Vegas Club and Casino which is owned and operated by the Australian-listed gambling company Donaco International Ltd. The casino, located at Poipet on the country’s border with Thailand, only resumed operations on June 18 after more than two years of being closed due to the pandemic. The property was Donaco’s main revenue driver before COVID-19 hit.
NagaWorld Casino To Open in 2022
Meanwhile, Cambodia will welcome its newest gaming hub soon, courtesy of NagaCorp Ltd. As per a June announcement from the company, the gaming floor at the NagaWorld casino resort, which will feature 20 tables designed for premium players, could open in the coming months.
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