Cambodian National Assembly overwhelmingly approves casino legislation
The National Assembly of Cambodia has finally approved draft casino legislation that would set up the basic capital requirements for any entity hoping to open a gambling facility in the Asian country.
Expressing their overwhelming support for the measure, lawmakers vote 114 to 3 in favor of the proposal to pave way for new casinos to come into existence in the country. Now, the measure will head to the 62-seat Senate of Cambodia for consideration and a subsequent vote. The 12-chapter measure, which would establish the minimum investment capital requirements as well as codify a set of associated tax rates, would also require approval from King Norodom Sihamoni.
The measure is widely accepted to be approved by King Sihamoni, who has already stated that the government of the nation of roughly 15 million people wants to regularize the commercial gambling sector to bring it under the umbrella of transparent law.
Commenting on the measure, King Sihamoni once stated, “Regulations on the commercial gambling sector are designed to enable the sector to operate under the umbrella of transparent law. In the face of this increasing investment, the government has pushed for the management of the gambling sector.”
Under the government’s effort to pave way for the development of a casino industry in the country, some national as well as international investors started investing in the casino industry in the Poipet area along the Cambodian-Thai border in 1999. The legislation under review would not only allow Poipet to grow further as a casino hub but would expand the gaming sector in other parts of the country.
Aun Pornmoniroth, the Minister of Economy & Finance for Cambodia, supported the legislation, explaining that it looks to set up clearly defined gambling-friendly zones. According to the minister, the measure will also help enhance rules to prevent money laundering that is often used to facilitate terrorism.
The government of the Asian country also believes that the measure will additionally result in greater capacity to help the country become competitive on an international scale and utilize innovative technology to enhance the monitoring of gambling facilities.
Cambodia is already home to nearly two hundred casinos, including Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld facility. But, all existing facilities have been allowed to operate on an ad-hoc basis through licenses featuring changeable conditions. The new legislation aims to clearly define rules for managing commercial gaming facilities so as to contribute to much-needed boost to economic growth by promoting tourism and generating new streams of tax revenue.