Cambodia Prepares For Effect On 2020 Budget After Gambling Ban

Cambodian Finance Minister Aun Pornmoniroth discussed the proposal to terminate all online gambling licenses by the end of 2019 with government officials and the effect this shutdown will have on the country’s 2020 budget.

In August, Prime Minister Hun Sen issued a directive stating that no new licenses would be issued for online gambling and that no existing licenses would be renewed at the end of this year.

In 2018, the government raised $50 million from the casino industry and expects to receive the same reward this year, but Minister Pornmoniroth said this figure “will drop in 2020 as online gambling is banned.”

Ros Phearun, deputy general manager of the Department of Finance at the Ministry of Finance, said the Ministry had issued 215 gaming licenses, a significant increase from the 150 issued at the end of 2018. Phearun added that for operations based in Preah Sihanouk province, were the main benficiary of these licenses.

Minister Pornmoniroth said that Cambodia “needs Chinese investment, except for online gambling,” and that the ministry should “work our a new system for Sihanoukville “to attract  scrupulous Chinese investment.”