The General Secretariat of Commercial Gambling Management Commission of Cambodia (CGMC) of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) has announced the renewal of 70 licenses to casino and game of chance companies in the second quarter of this year.
The General Secretariat granted licenses to 47 casinos and seven games of chance companies on Friday, according to a press release. This follows 16 other licenses that were granted in early June this year.
Mey Vann, secretary of state of MEF, stated that all these licenses were awarded to casino and game of chance businesses amid economic recovery for border reopening and business resumption after they had suspended their operations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic for about two years, Khmer Times reported.
“They actually have existing licenses and so we do not grant any new licenses, but we have renewed those existing ones so that they can reopen their business operations”, Vann stated. “After the government released tourism recovery strategies and aviation reopening, they probably hope that they will be able to see more tourists coming.”
Vann added that visitors who are expected to enjoy commercial gambling would mostly come from Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and European countries, as China is yet to fully reopen due to its “Zero Covid-19” policy.
“As the number of guests in the casino industry has still been limited, they should release marketing campaigns along with boosting government tourism recovery to attract visitors from other countries after they got the renewal of their licenses,” Vann added, according to the cited source.
Vann also pointed out that the tourism and aviation reopening strategies would help boost the casino industry to improve its situation soon even though the sector has still been in the early stage of recovery.
Star Vegas' gambling floor
The list of license renewal recipients shows that casinos are in provinces including Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng, Kampot, Pailin, Preah Sihanouk provinces such as Star Vegas operated by ASX-listed Donaco International; Casino Holiday Poipet and Poipet Resort, Grand Pailin, Le Macau Club and Xa Mat Cas; while Sokha Vegas and Thansur Bokor are casinos run by Sokha Hotel Co.
Osmach Resorts in Banteay Meanchey province and Koh Kong International in Koh Kong province are operated under LYP Group Co and Crown Resorts in Banteay Meanchey province and Crown Bavet belong to Anco Brothers Co; while Lim Heng Group runs three casinos: Royal Hill Resort and Casino, Srangam Resort and Casino and Sai Taku Resort and Casino.
Hak Vy, hotel manager at Titan King Casino Hotel & Resort, located in Bavet City, said that Titan King has been in process of requesting for renewal of its casino license to MEF, while about 70% of casinos on the border area with Vietnam have completed renovation of their facilities after suffering destruction due to the lack of maintenance during the Covid-19 pandemic, Khmer Times further reported.
Ros Phearun, secretary general of the General Secretariat of CGMC, said early in May that operators of casinos in border areas, including Poipet and Bavet towns, have not applied to renew their licenses and needed to renovate the buildings due to the lack of maintenance.