US companies warned against investing in Cambodia’s casino and financial sectors on trafficking, money laundering concerns

The US Department of State, US Department of the Treasury and US Department of Commerce have issued a joint advisory cautioning American companies either operating in or considering operating in Cambodia against interactions with certain entities and sectors of concern, including the casino industry.

The advisory highlights Illicit finance activities and interactions with Cambodian entities involved in the trafficking of people, wildlife and narcotics as the two primary areas of risk exposure for US companies, with casinos – particularly those located in Sihanoukville – closely linked to both. Other industries of concern include the financial, real estate and infrastructure sectors.

In a section dedicated to casinos, the advisory points to a 263% increase in casino licenses issued in Cambodia between 2014 and 2019 as having “outpaced regulators’ capacity to monitor and police these establishments, attracting organized crime elements that invest in casinos and use them to launder money.

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