Cambodia has set a minimum capital requirement for new and existing casinos.
According to Sub-Decree No 166, signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on August 26, the minimum capital for integrated commercial gambling centres is 800 billion riel ($200 million) and 400 billion for other casinos.
The decree defines “capital” as the casino’s current assets, including shareholder funds in the company and other property, and specifically excludes noncurrent assets and prepaid expenses of unsecured credit companies, as well as cash advances provided by the company as current assets.
The requirement will be eased for existing casinos, with increments over five phases, counted from the promulgation of the Law on the Management of Integrated Resorts and Commercial Gambling (LMCG) on November 14, 2020.
The minimum capital requirements are 50 billion riel for Phase I (years 1-3), 100 billion for Phase II (years 4-6), 200 billion for Phase III (years 7-10), 300 billion for Phase IV (years 11-14) and the full 400 billion for Phase V (from year 15).
Establishments must meet the amounts specified in the decree to earn the right to apply for a renewal of casino gambling operation licences.
The Ministry of Economy and Finance will not issue new business licences to casinos that do not meet the requirements, affirms secretary of state Mey Vann.
Vann told The Post on October 21that the new requirements were in response to economic growth levels and geared to improve management of the Cambodian casino sector, in accordance with the LMCG.
Casinos have been hamstrung by Covid-19 for the better part of two years, haemorrhaging revenue due to a distinct lack of patrons, he said, pointing out that the law bars Cambodians from gambling.
However, he expects the sector to recover quickly after Cambodia reopens the country to tourists in the near future.