Cambodia: Phnom Penh police conduct operations against illegal gambling

Some 91 arrests have been made.
Some 91 arrests have been made.

Police carried out a series of operations in recent days.

Cambodia.- Police in Phnom Penh formed a working group to conduct a series of operations against online gambling. Colonel San Sok Seiha said operations were carried out between September 17 and 20 following a government order.

San Sok Seiha said that by 7am yesterday (September 20), 91 people had been arrested in 44 cases. These involved 29 lottery sites, six illegal movie theatres, four online gambling sites, one poker site and three online cockfighting operations.

A week ago, Ros Phearun, secretary general of the Cambodian Gambling Management Committee of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, urged authorities to shut down illegal gambling in cafes and shops. He said such operations were not licensed by the Cambodian Gambling Regulatory Committee ( CEC).

He added that only 60 casinos have gaming licences but that 140 operate in the country, a figure that reflects the growth of illegal gambling. Phearun added that the regulator is identifying different types of illegal games to make it easier for relevant ministries and local authorities to crack down on such businesses.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said illegal gambling should be eradicated from the country and ordered local authorities to strengthen policies to crack down on the activities.

Last September, Cambodia renewed its existing cooperation agreement on cross-border gambling with China. Cambodia banned online gambling when the first agreement was signed in March 2019. Authorities have also signed a memorandum of understanding with Thailand to tackle online gambling operators and call-centre scammers.

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