A Cambodian-licensed online gambling operator may be testing the patience of local authorities with his claim that the nation is a cesspool of corruption.
On Tuesday, the Phnom Penh Post published an article gauging the local gaming industry’s reaction to China’s ongoing crackdown on foreign casino operators luring mainland residents abroad for the purposes of gambling.
The consensus opinion is that Cambodia’s good relationship with Beijing and local casinos’ low reliance on junket operators (at least, compared to some other jurisdictions) will provide some immunity to China’s tightening grip.
Ros Phirun, deputy director of the Finance Industry Department at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, told the Post that the government has yet to see any negative feedback from China “and don’t expect to see much.”
Phirun also said local gaming licensees – all 79 of them, according to stats Phirun released earlier this month – were less reliant on junket operators due to Cambodia allowing its brick-and-mortar casino licensees to also run online gambling sites.
Enter Jonny Ferrari (pictured), whose experience in Cambodia’s gaming industry includes setting up several land-based casinos with online live dealer casino sites, and whose Ferrari Global Gaming firm currently runs a Cambodian-licensed gambling site.
Ferrari told the Post that Cambodia had benefited from Beijing’s efforts to restrict junket activity in Macau and that Cambodia would continue to benefit “as long as regulations are not established” to restrict junket activity.
But even if new regulations are imposed, Ferrari believes “there will never be a problem with the local government here and junkets,” given that “Cambodia is corrupt and everything and everyone can be bought in gaming.”
We’re just guessing, but we figure two things have happened since the Post’s article was published. First, ex-pat Ferrari is likely down at his local doctor’s office being checked for further signs of Foot-in-Mouth Disease, and second, Ros Phirun is currently mulling whether to revise his earlier press release to confirm that there are in fact only 78 Cambodia-licensed gaming operators.