Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) says it has renewed 47 casino licenses and another seven games of chance licenses as it looks to help the gaming sector rebuild from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The update, provided by the Ministry’s General Secretariat of Commercial Gambling Management Commission of Cambodia (CGMC) on Friday, brings the total number of casino licenses renewed this year to 63 with 16 licenses having previously been renewed in early June.
According to a report by The Khmer Times, the licenses are primarily for casinos located in Sihanoukville and in border towns such as Poipet and Bavet. Many had been required to undertake renovation work on their properties to bring them up to standard due to a lack of basic maintenance work in recent years.
MEF Secretary of State Mey Vann said the opening of more casinos was important for Cambodia’s tourism recovery.
“They actually have existing licenses and so we do not grant any new licenses, but we have renewed those existing ones so that they can reopen their business operations,” he told The Khmer Times.
“So, there are no new licenses yet. After the government released tourism recovery strategies and aviation reopening, they probably hope that they would be able to see more tourists coming.”
Mey also urged operators to target customers from Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Europe given China’s ongoing zero-COVID position.
“As the number of guests in the casino industry has still been limited, [operators] should release marketing campaigns along with boosting government tourism recovery to attract visitors from other countries after they got the renewal of their licenses,” he said.
As previously reported by IAG, only 20 casinos of Cambodia’s more than 200 casinos were operational at the end of the June quarter despite 129 having reapplied for licenses.