The government of Cambodia has collected a total of US$34.7 million in taxes from the country’s casino operators in 2015, a 33 percent increase over the previous year, the Cambodia Daily newspaper reported on Tuesday, quoting a Finance Ministry official.
Ros Phearun, deputy director-general of the ministry’s finance industry department, was quoted attributing the increase to a stronger nationwide tax collection strategy.
The Cambodian government last year launched a strategy to boost its revenue “by improving the transparency, efficiency and equity of the tax system and monitoring tax collection more closely,” according to the report.
The strategy helped the government collect more tax revenue from non-gaming sources within casinos, such as restaurants and nightclubs, Mr Phearun reportedly said.
Casino resort NagaWorld (pictured) in the capital Phnom Penh – operated by Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp Ltd – accounted for about 23 percent of all tax collection from casino operators last year, said the Cambodia Daily.
Mr Phearun told the newspaper that the government collected “much more [tax revenue] at NagaWorld from clubs, hotels, restaurants, karaoke and massage parlours, as they charge gamblers for these additional services.”
The official said tax collection from smaller casinos along the Thai and Vietnamese borders also increased, but not as significantly. In Thailand casino gambling is not legal, while in Vietnam only holders of foreign passports are allowed to gamble in that country’s casinos.
Mr Phearun reportedly added that fewer people had been travelling from Vietnam to Cambodia to gamble due to increased monitoring of cross-border gamblers by Vietnamese authorities.
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”We expect Goa to quickly become a US$1 billion market as it transitions to land-based casinos (from US$150 million today), which is still just a fraction of India’s total GGR potential of US$10 billion to US$17 billion”
Analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia