Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gaming revenues in free fall, pulling down tax revenues

Gaming revenues in free fall, pulling down tax revenues

Gaming revenues in free fall, pulling down tax revenues

090730_14
Phnom Penh locals sit out side the front of NagaWorld. The capital’s sole casino has added 200 slot machines as gaming outlets along the borders with Thailand and Vietnam have suffered.

Casinos in border areas see steep fall in takings, say owners,
as Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld invests in 200 new slot machines

AFINANCE Ministry official said gaming revenues this year have dropped sharply at Cambodian casinos on the borders with Thailand and Vietnam. He said that has reduced the government's tax take.

Chea Peng Chheang, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, also told the Post late Tuesday that NagaWorld casino recently signed a deal to add 200 gaming machines.

NagaWorld's operator holds the only licence to operate a casino away from the country's border areas.

"Since NagaWorld was granted an exclusive casino licence in Phnom Penh, revenues at NagaWorld have increased, which means more tax revenue for the government account," said Chea Peng Chheang.

He said the government last year collected US$18 million in tax revenues from the gaming industry, but admits the tax take has dropped this year "although not too much". But he acknowledged that the dozen casinos at Poipet on the border with Thailand, and those at Bavet near Vietnam's border, are facing a significant challenge.

Those difficulties were echoed by casino tycoon Phu Kok An, a senator with the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP). He owns two casinos - one in Kandal near the Vietnam border, the other at Poipet - and told the Post that business is "really slow". Customer numbers have halved, and he has retrenched 50 percent of his staff.

Phu Kok An said the global economic crisis and the threat of a global flu pandemic are the two most intractable problems.

"At this stage it is difficult to describe the general situation, but it has been seriously affected," he said. "There hasn't been much development in the way of tourism, and the garment sector and construction sector have both slowed."

The Hong Kong-based Business Wire reported on Monday that Elixir Gaming Technologies Inc had agreed with NagaWorld to operate 200 more gaming machines at the Phnom Penh casino.

Elixir currently operates 237 machines at NagaWorld.
NagaWorld's senior manager for gaming and events, Tan Kenghong Lawrence, declined to comment on the deal.

MOST VIEWED

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that

  • Man in quarantine dies of ‘overdose’

    The Ministry of Health on Thursday said a Cambodian migrant worker who died while being isolated at a quarantine centre in Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district may have died from syncope or overdose of tablets. In a statement, the ministry said the 21-year-old

  • Ministry set to reopen 20 schools in August

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will allow 20 high-safety-standards schools to reopen next month despite new cases of Covid-19 in the country. Ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha wrote in a Telegram message on Wednesday that the schools are in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang.