Cambodia to crack down on locals in casinos

    Cambodia has ordered casinos not to allow locals onto their premises, warning their licenses may be revoked for infractions, The Cambodia Herald reported.
    It said the order was made during a meeting between the Ministry of Economics and Finance and the General Commissariat of National Police, which was also attended by casino representatives.
    The newspaper cited General Chhai Sinarith, deputy commissioner general of the National Police, as saying legal action would be taken against those casinos which defy the order.
    He urged casino owners to work with authorities to enforce a ban on allowing locals into gambling properties that has so far only been loosely upheld.
    Cambodia is currently considering an overhaul of its casino legislation in a bid to attract more international investment, in particular from major global operators. As part of that review, the government may consider legalizing online gambling.
    Despite having one of the strongest growing tourism markets in Asia, Cambodia has failed to attract the same levels of casino investment as its regional neighbours, such as the Philippines and Singapore.
    The World Bank forecasts foreign direct investment inflows to Cambodia will rise 12 percent in 2014 to $1.6 billion. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund is projecting Cambodia’s gross domestic product will expand 7.2 percent in 2014, with inflation at 3.4 percent.
    International tourist arrivals to Cambodia significantly outpaced worldwide tourism growth in 2013, increasing 17 percent to approximately 4.2 million visitors. Vietnam, China and Korea were the top three countries in terms of total tourist arrivals, with visitors from China increasing by 39 percent year-on-year, to 463,123 visitors.