Published: October 21, 2022

Cambodia issues new guidelines for licensed casino operations

The General Secretariat of the Commercial Gambling Management Commission of Cambodia (CGMC) has issued new guidelines for the operation of commercial casinos in the kingdom, with a particular focus on licensing and taxation.

The Phnom Penh Post reports that the guidelines were issued on 20 October, aiming to “crack down on all illegal gambling activities and gambling dens and to promote legal commercial gambling,” according to the CGMC.

This follows an order from Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen last month to crackdown on illegal gambling establishments nationwide and promising ramifications for any officials who fail to do so. His order was in response to a dramatic rise in high-profile kidnapping cases linked to illegal casino operations.

Aiming to further clarify the government’s expectations of licensed casinos, the new CGMC require casino owners and operators to either apply for a new license or renew their current licenses this year if they wish to continue operating.

Those who are issued licenses will only be permitted to operate in the precise location identified on their casino licenses and must do so under the strict control and supervision of the CGMC, the guideline said.

“The casino operators or owners have to display the original licences or the certificate of legality in a visible place in their business locations,” the guidelines state. “In cases where they use a copy of the licence or the certificate at another location, it will be deemed fraudulent and they will face legal action.”

Licensed casino owners must also pay all required taxes “on time and in full” or face legal and regulatory action.

The guidelines have been issued almost two years since Cambodia’s long-awaited casino bill, the Law on the Management of Integrated Resorts and Commercial Gambling (LMCG), was passed into law.

The bill outlined a range of new regulatory controls including dividing Cambodia into three distinct gaming zones: Prohibited Zones where gaming is not allowed in any shape or form, Permitted Zones where operators such as NagaCorp already hold a gaming license, and Favored Zones such as the coastal provinces of Sihanouk and Koh Kong, which are now the only areas where new integrated resorts can be developed.

The LMCG also set a new tax on gross gaming revenues of 4% on VIP and 7% on mass.

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