Cambodia’s tax take from the country’s casinos rose 35.5 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2016, reported Chinese news agency Xinhua, quoting Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy and Finance.
The nation collected US$37.4 million during the period.
“The notable rise in tax collection came after the government launched last year a new strategy to boost revenue by improving the transparency, efficiency and equity of the tax system and monitoring tax collection more closely,” stated Xinhua.
According to the ministry’s report, currently 69 casinos have been operating in the Southeast Asian country. Many are in areas bordering neighbouring countries that bar casino gaming. One of the places with a concentration of border casinos is Poipet (pictured) in the northwest of the country, near the frontier with Thailand.
The most high-profile casino property in Cambodia is NagaWorld, operated by Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp Ltd in the country’s capital Phnom Penh. The venue accounted for about US$16 million, or 43 percent, of all casino tax collection during the January-September period this year, said Xinhua, quoting the ministry report.
According to NagaCorp’s annual report for 2015, filed in March with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the firm paid “income tax” of just under US$16.4 million in the 12 months to December 31, 2015.
Tim McNally, NagaCorp’s chairman, told GGRAsia in September that while the company would not comment on taxation matters, it was “very co-operative with the [Cambodian] government in all aspects of our business”.
Under Cambodian law, only foreigners are allowed to gamble in that nation’s casinos.
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"The [Macau] government has a lead in this subject in regards to what should be done after the [gaming] concessions expire. We will be first listening to what the government will say”
Ambrose So Shu Fai
Vice-chairman and chief executive at Macau casino operator SJM Holdings