Cambodia: Police raid 7 illegal gambling dens in Phnom Penh

Online gambling is prohibited for Cambodian citizens.
Online gambling is prohibited for Cambodian citizens.

Police in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, have raided seven illegal online gambling dens and warned their owners of legal action.

Cambodia.- Authorities in Cambodia have shut down seven illegal gambling dens in Phnom Penh and warned of legal action against the owners.

According to officers, the gambling dens used a digital system to allow players to top up their accounts and gamble via their phones.

Municipal police spokesman San Sok Seiha said: “Police did not detain any suspects, but instructed them not to engage in illegal online gambling activities, which is contrary to the instructions of the municipal administration.” 

He added that if owners don’t follow the rules, police will implement strict measures and may make arrests.

In June, police in Cambodia arrested 45 people for illegal gambling and for breaking the Covid-19 social distancing rules in five different raids. All 45 were released after signing an agreement not to repeat the offences.

Cambodian citizens are only allowed to gamble through the government’s national lotteries. They were allowed to play slot machine games in the past, but due to complaints of violence and problem gambling, authorities banned slots in 2009.

Cambodia closes borders with Vietnam and Thailand

In a bid to control the spread of the Covid-19 Delta strain, authorities have closed Cambodia’s borders with Thailand and Vietnam. The measure will have an impact on Cambodian casinos that attract Vietnamese and Thai residents. 

In April, Donaco reported that revenue for the first quarter of the year 2021 was down from AU$6m in the previous quarter to AU$2.8m. EBITDA for the quarter was AU$0.29m.

The NagaWorld casino complex, which is located in the city of Phnom Penh, suspended its operations in March and has made no announcement since.

The company has been highly criticised by labour unions after it announced plans to reduce pay and lay off employees to improve cost efficiency due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now, the government will intervene, with the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training mediating a meeting between the two parties.

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