CAMBODIA is finally expected to begin slugging land-based casino operators with a gambling revenue tax, when the South East Asian country’s government meets this month.
But on a positive note for casino operators the draft law is expected to tax operators between 4-5%, after an initial forecast of between 5-7%.
It is the latest move in establishing a sustainable industry in Cambodia, with the government take jumping by 38% in 2016. This was partly because the country’s biggest casino operator NagaCorp was hit with back taxes.
NagaCorp revealed in its annual report it reached an agreement to pay $16.5 million in taxes in relation to its non-gaming revenue.
The draft law is also expected to demand a Gaming Management Committee is set up, with it’s purpose to counter things like problem gambling and money laundering.
The Cambodian Government says it has issued 77 casino licenses in total, with 65 of these active in September 2017.
Muddying the waters even more in the Cambodian gambling scene is that locals are not allowed to gamble at casinos, despite Vietnam relaxing similar laws which allow citizens to gamble at select venues.
These laws saw 13 Cambodians arrested on Sunday, after they were accused of cheating at Yaduoili Casino. The 10 men and three women claimed they were being ripped off by the Chinese owners of the casino who simply did not want to payout.
The 13 were released after agreeing not to step foot into a casino in Cambodia again.
Cambodia, which has a population of around 16 million, has over 25 land-based casinos with most of their customers coming from neighbouring countries like Vietnam, Thailand and Laos.
The country is also home to some of the most strict online gambling laws in the world, with cases of citizens being arrest for gambling at offshore sites.
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