CAMBODIAN LAND CASINO OPERATORS COMPETING IN THE ONLINE MARKET
Live-streamed casino action becoming increasingly common.
Cambodian land casino operators are increasingly going online with live-streamed gambling, the Phnom Penh Post reported Saturday, noting that lax regulation and limited supervision has created an environment conducive to such a development.
The newspaper claims that Chinese investors are playing a prominent role in the Cambodian push into webcam-based live dealer gambling, especially in the Sihanoukville area.
Cambodia has created a lucrative industry out of offering gambling to Asian punters seeking an alternative to either prohibited or restricted gambling in their own countries. Most of its casinos are small and positioned near the Kingdom’s border crossings, attracting Thai and Vietnamese gamblers.
Ros Phirun, deputy director of the financial industry department of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, says 16 new Cambodian casino licences have been issued so far this year, bringing the total to 75….and most of the new operators are looking to include online gambling in their offering, a product which is tolerated provided it is operated out of a licensed brick-and-mortar casino.
Phirun said the ministry does not track who operates casinos in Cambodia, but many of the new entrants are in Sihanoukville, where Chinese investors are particularly involved.
This has resulted in "a flood" of Chinese online gambling employees arriving to operate cameras, studio equipment and dedicated high-speed broadband connections needed for the live feed, along with dealers, production crew members and translators.
The demand for the live dealer service is mainly Chinese, necessitating the employment of nationals from that country to service the customers, the newspaper reports.
The Post singles out a new luxury hotel in the area as the likely centre of the next big live dealer push. The White Sand Palace Hotel has achieved land licensing and confirmed it will be entering the online gambling sector, with sources revealing that there are plans to covert many of its rooms into “mini online gaming rooms”, each with a separate broadband internet connection.
The Chinese investors behind the White Sand casino operation have reportedly also leased at least three other hotels and guesthouses in Sihanoukville to support an ambitious $50 million virtual gaming project.
Another group of Chinese investors has leased a nearby guesthouse for its online operations, local sources told the newspaper.
“Since their dealers are all Chinese they have a considerable requirement for accommodation, as they work 24/7 in three or four shifts,” the source revealed..