Cambodia has given permission for three L.Y.P. Group casinos to launch online gambling operations.
The L.Y.P. Group, which is run by Cambodian People’s Party Senator Ly Yong Phat, operates three casinos on the country’s border with Thailand; the Koh Kong Resort on the country’s southern coast, the O-Smach Resort in northern Oddar Meanchey province and a third property in the bustling border town of Poipet.
The Khmer Times reported that the Council of Ministers approved Yong Phat’s request in September following an endorsement from Prime Minister Hun Sen. In addition to online gambling, the Koh Kong and O-Smach casinos were also granted the right to offer betting on football, golf, horse races and cock fighting while expanding their complements of slot machines.
Bun Leut, the governor of Koh Kong province, said the L.Y.P. casino in his region was performing well and the new gaming options would encourage more Thai gamblers to cross the border into Cambodia.
Cambodia has issued a total of 75 casino gaming licenses, 10 of which were approved in Q3, and most of those were reportedly issued to operators in the Sihanoukville region for the purposes of launching online gambling operations. Chinese investors have spent millions of dollars building up these live-dealer online casino sites, which predominantly cater to gamblers in China, where gambling is illegal.
These operations in Sihanoukville were dealt a blow last week when Cambodian authorities arrested 168 Chinese nationals over their alleged involvement in an online extortion scheme. However, local casino operators have suggested that the raids – which were conducted by national authorities, not the local police – were at least partly intended to pump the brakes on the area’s burgeoning online industry.
One week prior to the raids, the Phnom Penh Post ran a lengthy article on Sihanoukville’s online casinos, which included multiple sources claiming that some of the online casinos were being run from private dwellings rather than the casinos, which would be a violation of the operators’ gaming licenses. Whatever the truth, the fact that Yong Phat is a Cambodian national and a prominent politician will likely prevent his properties from coming under the same unwanted attention.
GLORYWIN BUYS BAVET CASINO
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, the Glorywin Entertainment Group announced last month that it had acquired the Chateau de Bavet casino. The property is located in the town of Bavet in Svay Rieng province on the border with Vietnam.
The OTC Venture Marketplace-listed Glorywin is primarily involved in junket activity with Asian casinos, providing technical support and record-keeping services to 25 sub-junkets involved in both land-based and online casino gaming.
Glorywin chairman Wenwei Wu said having its own land-based venue would allow the company to “achieve maximum flexibility in arranging our IT systems to provide a superb online gaming experience to our gamers.”