The government of Cambodia announced this weekend its intention to ban online gambling in the country.
Cambodia.- More countries are rushing to legalise online gambling in order to benefit from it. However, it seems as though Cambodia doesn’t want to jump on the bandwagon, as the government revealed on Sunday its plans to ban the gambling modality.
A directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen reads that online gambling has helped boost a wave of Chinese investment in casinos in the country. Thus, the government believes that foreign criminals use the industry to conduct illegal activities and benefit.
The Royal Government of Cambodia will stop the issuance of online gambling policy and licences, both within and outside of the Kingdom of Cambodia, from the date of signing this directive,” said the Prime Minister.
The coastal city of Sihanoukville is a centre for gambling and Chinese-run casinos that also host online gambling operations, says the government. “Some foreign criminals have taken refuge in the form of this gambling to cheat and extort money from victims, domestic and abroad, which affect the security, public order and social order,” the directive said, according to Vancouver Sun.
Casino’s growth in Cambodia
Earlier this year, authorities in Cambodia granted 13 new casino licences. The new Cambodian casino licences contribute to the total amount of 163 permits. According to an official of the Ministry of Finance in Phnom Penh, Ros Phearun, less than a third are actually operational.
He also explained that there Cambodia issued 91 casino licences for venues in the province of Preah Sihanouk. Said region included Sihanoukville.