When people think about the gambling industry in Asia, it is often Macau’s casino resorts and bright lights that pop into their heads. While China happens to be the region’s biggest gambling market at the moment, several other jurisdictions have started opening up their markets, providing opportunities for suppliers and operators searching for new markets, especially online.
Cambodia Gambling is On the Rise
During the last few months, the country of Cambodia has started attracting interest from different quarters after its Finance & Economy Ministry, which regulates its gambling industry, granted 10 new casino licenses. Sihanoukville will host a majority of these casinos.
With these new permits, the total count of all licensed Cambodian gambling operators has risen to 75. Most of them are focusing their efforts on Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh. These licenses cover over 7660 slot machines & 2600 table games in this area, with the gambling industry currently growing at a steady rate. In 2013 alone, gambling and casino taxes totaled $22M. However, last year, this amount grew to around $34M.
These new licenses provide opportunities to those searching for a way to enter the market ñ as long as these players understand Cambodia’s gaming industry and its inner workings.
NagaCorp: The Monopolist
Every region comes with its own power player, with Cambodia being no different at all. The government has granted NagaCorp a full monopoly license for operating casinos within 200 km of its capital Phnom Penh. This license expires in 2035. The company is the biggest Cambodian leisure, gaming, and hotel operator, and happens to be Cambodia’s only listed company. Its shares were listed on the HKSE in 2007.
NagaCorp maintains a firm hold over the region around the Cambodian capital, especially with its NagaWorld resort. It has seen strong results on a consistent basis as well. However, opportunities are still available in Cambodia for those looking to enter the market.
Palin and Poipet: Runner-ups
Most other casinos happen to be located around Pailin and Poipet, which share borders with Thailand & Bavet, which is near the Vietnamese border. However, Sihanoukville has been grabbing most of the attention these days, as major plans are afoot to make it a popular gambling center.
SV International, a Malaysia-based developer is planning to acquire potential development lots on a bulk-basis. It is trying to make this town Southeast Asia’s Macau. Investment, especially from China, is pouring in aplenty into casinos and hotels located in this town.
Why Sihanoukville is a Great Choice?
Many Sihanoukville casinos offer several online gambling choices to their Chinese customers, who are looking for a loophole around Cambodia’s gambling ban. Cambodia has recently allowed online gambling; however, all sites have to conduct operations under physical casino licenses, and in accordance with corresponding policies, these sites aren’t open to Cambodian citizens. While the country has begin legalizing and regulating this activity, a reliable, consistent, and solid framework hasn’t been finalized yet. This framework is extremely essential, because casino operators require online propositions for offering omni-channel experiences to all their players and a 360 product, which permits customers an engaging experience with a casino, no matter where they are or when they wish to play.
I feel that an e-gaming market and a potent regulatory framework will be implemented in the near future by Cambodia.
Currently, gambling laws are being modernized and revised. It has been understood that this includes opening up Cambodia’s online gambling scene as well. Once this framework has been finalized, it’s a truly fantastic opportunity for building an omni-channel offering. We have also joined hands with GGN for delivering onni-channel offerings to gambling casino operators throughout the nation.
Cambodia is likely to set a blueprint for all online gambling centers to follow in the Asian continent. The current requirement that operators have to team up with casinos that are land-based happens to be the very same model that’s being successfully used in the state of New Jersey. This has built a thriving egaming industry in the state.
While it’s early out in the markets, this is why US and European operators stand to gain the most. Their expertise and experience are exactly what Cambodia requires at the moment. Those who are ready to act stand to reap huge rewards.