Cambodia’s iGaming industry is no more after Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered to shut down all operations in the country.
Cambodia.- Prime Minister Hun Sen had suspended the issuing of iGaming licences but has taken a step further. Cambodia will suspend all iGaming activities after he ordered a complete shutdown.
Late last week, at a meeting of the country’s Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister hit Cambodia’s iGaming industry hard. Once licences expire, no company will get an extension nor its permits will be renewed.
“All kinds of online and arcade gambling in the Kingdom are illegal and all these businesses will be banned by the end of 2019,” a Council statement —translated by the Khmer Times— said.
“Samdech Prime Minister said that Cambodia needed to develop the country based on natural and cultural heritage tourism. But not based on income from online gambling.”
First move against iGaming
More countries are rushing to legalise iGaming in order to benefit from it. However, it seems as though Cambodia doesn’t want to jump on the bandwagon. The government revealed in August 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. That affects the security, public order and social order,” the directive said, according to Vancouver Sun.