In Cambodia and a senior official in the administration of Prime Minister Hun Sen has reportedly detailed that tax revenues will likely fall next year as a result of the nation’s decision to cease issuing or renewing online gambling licenses.

According to a report from the Khmer Times newspaper, this revelation came from Cambodian Finance Minister Aun Pornmoniroth (pictured) as part of a meeting with government advisor Pich Sros to discuss the Asian nation’s budget for 2020.

Considered consequences:

The newspaper reported Cambodia collected approximately $50 million from the licensing of gambling websites last year but that this cash is now in jeopardy as a result of Hun’s August decision to terminate such activities so as to safeguard the economy of his country from a recent rise in online and telephone fraud schemes aimed at ethnic Chinese consumers.

Pornmoniroth reportedly told the Khmer Times

“We received considerable tax revenues from the casino industry. For instance, the ministry collected $50 million in 2018 and it is the same amount in 2019 but this will drop in 2020 because online gambling is banned.”

Alternative preparations:

Cambodia’s decision to stop licensing online gambling websites, which is expected to come completely into force by the end of the year, has drawn praise from officials in China while Pornmoniroth reportedly detailed that the government intends to formulate new policies to protect the gambling-dependent economy surrounding the seaside community of Sihanoukville.

Pornmoniroth told the newspaper…

“The ministry needs Chinese investment, except for online gambling. The ministry will work out a new system, which is the master plan and an economic hub for Sihanoukville in order to attract scrupulous Chinese investment.”

Exploring options:

Ros Phearun, Deputy Director-General for the Finance Ministry’s financial industry department, reportedly told the Khmer Times that Cambodia currently has 215 licensed gaming operators but that the government will now look to generate revenues from alternative sources.

Phearun said…

“The government could generate revenue from other sources. That’s why local people were not encouraged to get involved in such business.”