Cambodian tycoon’s casinos get online gambling green light

Two of Cambodian tycoon Ly Yong Phat’s three casinos along the Thai border have been given the green light to expand online, The Khmer Times reported citing a letter from the Council of Ministers.

Yong Phat, whose LYP Group owns a TV station, sugar refinery, tobacco firm and property – as well as the casinos – was given approval to add online gambling at his casinos in Koh Kong and Oddar Meanchey provinces by the Council of Ministers in mid-September, according to the letter.

His three casinos are located just inside the border with Thailand in Koh Kong, Oddar Meanchey and the Thai border crossing of Poipet in Banteay Meanchey provinces. The letter from the council approves his request to add online gambling and expand the number of slot machines at Koh Kong Resort and Oddar Meanchey province.

The letter had been endorsed by Prime Minister Hun Sen the day before. 

It gives the casinos permission to add gambling on golf, horse races, football and cock fighting.   

Mey Vann, director general of the financial industry unit at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, confirmed the casinos had received approval to add online gambling. 

“I think his business is operating quite well because all of his customers are from Thailand,” Vann said. 

“Although the government allows more gambling products and services, we still do not allow local people to gamble,” he added.