Analyst likens Cambodia’s new gaming laws to “lipstick on a pig”

Cambodia’s National Assembly just approved, among others, new laws for the gaming industry this week, looking to provide better consumer protection and bring the country more in line with policies established by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Everything from casino investments in money-laundering controls will be put into place once the laws are approved by Cambodia’s King Norodom Sihamoni, and the overwhelming support for the measures, 114 of a possible 117 votes, seems to indicate there won’t be any difficulty getting the final signature. However, according to one U.S. political expert, the new laws most likely won’t have the desired impact and he likens them to essentially nothing more than putting “lipstick on a pig.”

The new gaming legislation, which spans 12 chapters and includes 97 different articles, were drafted to enhance Cambodian tourism, which will lead to the creation of new jobs and spur the economy. It addresses new casino investments, improved monitoring of the gaming market, the creation of gambling zones and anti-money-laundering and terrorism financing measures. However, California Occidental College professor of diplomacy and world affairs Sophal Ear thinks the measures could miss their target. He told, “On the surface, it sounds great, it’s all very much needed, and I’m sure it has a lot to do with Cambodia being on the grey list of the [FATF] on money laundering.”

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