Vietnam’s move to allow locals to gamble should not have a significant impact on casinos in Cambodia, says Ros Phirun, deputy director-general of the Finance Ministry of Cambodia.
Last Friday, the Vietnamese government officially lifted its long-standing ban on gambling, allowing locals to enter approved casinos. It is currently understood that two casinos, one in Van Don and the other in Phu Quoc have received government approval to serve Vietnamese locals.
However, while the two approved casinos may affect some of Cambodia’s border casinos, the new decree should not have a huge impact on the Cambodian gaming industry as a whole, says Phirun.
“Of course, we will definitely get some effect by the new move from the Vietnamese government. But, it doesn’t mean that it severely affects the whole industry here because they will only let local people gamble at two selected casinos which are really far from us,” said Phirun, quoted by Khmer Times.
“Our casinos are mainly at the Bavet border near Ho Chi Minh City where 90 percent of the Vietnamese are coming from.
“Also, I don’t see many Vietnamese from the north coming to gamble in Bavet. I don’t think their local people will spend many hours driving so far to a casino,” he added.
The new decree is said to take effect on March 15, lasting for an initial trial period of three years. It is not yet confirmed whether Vietnam’s Ho Tram Resort and Casino will be approved to serve locals.
According to the Finance Ministry, Cambodia has issued around 77 casino licenses in the country, 65 of which are in operation.