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

  • Hundreds of children in hospital with dengue

    A serious dengue fever epidemic is affecting Cambodia, with nearly 600 children hospitalised in the five Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals on Monday alone, a statement posted on the Kantha Bopha Foundation’s official Facebook page said on Wednesday. Because Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals provide

  • Sihanoukville building collapse death toll rises to 19

    Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said on Sunday that the government will act against those responsible for the collapse of a seven-storey building in Sihanoukville on Saturday, which resulted in 19 dead and 24 injured as of Sunday evening. Sar Kheng said three Chinese nationals and one

  • Gov’t to probe Chinese exports to US via Sihanoukville

    The government is investigating allegations that Chinese companies are using Chinese-owned special economic zones in Cambodia to export goods to the US and avoid tariffs, said Ministry of Commerce spokesman Seang Thay. The move comes after US embassy spokesman Arend Zwartjes said the US had

  • Banh: The Khmer Rouge worse than sanctions and pressure

    Minister of National Defence Tea Banh said on Thursday that having sanctions and external pressure placed on Cambodia was not worse than life under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. Tea Banh, who is also deputy prime minister, was speaking to military and ruling party officials