Cambodian law to put the brakes on Bavet

It’s 9 a.m. and the Crown casino in the Cambodian border town of Bavet is booming. Hordes of Vietnamese gamblers cram themselves around card games drinking coffee and chewing on cigarette ends. While some may have caught some sleep since the night’s session, for others, the 24-hour opening cycle has kept the chips and cards rolling all night. On the surface this wild-west town 160km from Phnom Penh appears to be thriving and the numbers of Vietnamese strong. In 2014, about 905,801 Vietnamese nationals entered Cambodia, up 6.1 percent on the year before. Most of them would have crossed overland. But Bavet, which has long been a haven for gaming operators looking for an easy way to set up a casino and cash-in on the thousands of Vietnamese eager for a flutter, could see its luck change. Cambodia is expected to pass a new gaming law later this year that may change the face...

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