Cambodian 2021 Gambling Law Brought the Number of Licensed Casinos to 87

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Cambodian Commercial Gambling Management Commission (CGMC), the governmental body in charge of regulating the gambling market in the country, has reportedly issued a total of 87 casino licenses since 2021, when the gaming law became effective. As reported by IAG, regulator’s representative Khim Oudam said that the decreased number of licenses testifies to the efficiency of the CGMC’s commitment to maintaining a stringent control over the country’s gambling industry.

Reduction From 200 to 87 Casino Operators:

Khim Oudam, Deputy Director of Legal Affairs and Licensing Department for the Cambodian Commercial Gambling Management Commission (CGMC), reportedly rendered a speech on the subject during a panel session held at the IAG Academy Summit on September 13, 2023. According to IAG,  Khim presented the data on the current number of licenses and indicated that 87 casino licenses awarded since 2021 represent a significant reduction of as many as more than 200 casinos operating in Cambodia before the 2021 legislation was passed.

CGMC representative reportedly said: “Previously the amount of casinos in Cambodia was a lot more than this. Under the previous law we could not easily cut the number of casinos that used to invest in Cambodia, but under this new law we have strict conditions around requirements.”

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He reportedly added: “The government has been cutting [licenses] step by step based on their capital because under the new law, casinos must have capital of US$100 million to start with for a normal casino and for an integrated resort it must be US$200 million. This means many smaller casinos are being closed because they cannot comply with the new law.”

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2021 Gaming Law:

As reported by IAG, Cambodia’s gaming industry had been waiting for the casino bill for a long time. It seems that the proliferation of smaller casinos had kept the state out of control over the industry and had given the opportunity to many casinos to skirt the amounts to be contributed into the state funds. The long-awaited bill was signed into law in 2021 to be enforced as the Law on the Management of Integrated Resorts and Commercial Gambling covering a range of gambling regulations.

Market Control and Tax Collection:

The 2021 gambling law has also provided for a detailed market control under the CGMC competence and reportedly divided Cambodia into three gaming zones that either prohibit, allow, or favor gambling activities. As reported, the law also prescribed a new tax scheme for VIP and mass market gross gaming revenues and set these at 4% and, respectively,  7% tax rates. Khim reportedly also said that casino operators are now obliged to declare gross revenues on monthly basis and make monthly tax contributions under the law.

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