The amount of tax collected from Cambodia’s 193 licensed casinos fell by more than half in 2020, according to figures from the Cambodian Government.
Tax revenue amounted to US$40m (£28.9m) in 2020, a 53% drop from the US$85m in 2019, primarily due to widespread closures and reduced international visitor arrivals amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Casinos throughout Cambodia were closed on 2 April 2020 under the order of Prime Minister Hun Sen, with some able to reopen in August and others in October. A nationwide ban on online gambling operations meanwhile also had a negative impact on tax revenues, with all previous online licences expiring on 1 January 2020.
“As we’re all too well aware, the Covid-19 epidemic began in late 2019 and persists to this day,” said deputy director of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ros Phearun. “It has pulverized all economic sectors, and the casino industry has sustained a crippling blow as well.
“Practically all of our casinos ceased operation in 2020, with only just seven or eight left scrambling to keep their businesses afloat. That’s why our revenue collection has dropped so much.”
Phearun is, however, expecting revenues to rebound in 2021, after the country passed the Law on the Management of Integrated Resorts and Commercial Gambling in November.