Daniel Halliday
Mar 25 · Last update 2 mo. ago.

Are Chinese casinos having a positive or negative effect in Cambodia?

Cambodia is in the midst of a casino boom, despite the fact that it is against the law for Cambodians to gamble. The Cambodian town of Sihanoukville was established as a Special Economic Zone in 2008, and as a consequence of China’s Belt and Road Initiative Chinese Casinos have flocked to the small port town due to the areas relaxed laws and regulations. Gambling remains a contentious issue in Cambodia, and China’s domination of Sihanoukville in particular has gained widespread criticism. What impact is the Chinese gambling market having in Cambodia? ssez.com/en/company.asp?Ione=3 reuters.com/article/us-cambodia-politics-china-insight-idUSKBN1E101E
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Positive for the Cambodian economy
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Positive for the Cambodian economy

Cambodia’s economy is classed as a lower-middle income economy, and although it is rapidly increasing it is very low compared with neighbouring countries and is extremely low in terms of exports. In this way any kind of Chinese investment remains a massive boost to the country, and for a country that depends heavily on the tourism sector Chinese interest is a golden opportunity, as Chinese tourists have become the most lucrative tourist market in Southeast Asia. The positive impact casinos represent is clear from other regions also, a study conducted on the effect casinos had in Native American communities in the US is striking, a 26% increase in employment, 14% decline in workers living in poverty, and population increased while mortality declined. In this way casino tourism remains a much bigger windfall than the usual low impact backpacker tourism Cambodia is accustomed to.

poverties.org/blog/poverty-in-cambodia siteminder.com/r/trends-advice/chinese-travellers-lucrative-market-segment-southeast-asia nber.org/digest/feb03/w9198.html

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Daniel Halliday
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