Cambodia phases out online gambling

This still photo from a video grab taken on December 13, 2018 shows customers arriving at a Chinese-run casino in Sihanoukville, the coastal capital of Preah Sihanouk province (AFP)

Foreign criminals seen using online gambling for scams 


PHNOM PENH--Cambodia is no longer issuing or renewing licenses for online gambling businesses, according to a government directive.   


Prime Minister Hun Sen issued the directive on Sunday to protect social order.


“The Royal Government is stopping the granting of principles and licenses to operate online gambling businesses inside and outside Cambodia,” he said.


The government said foreign criminals were using online gambling for online scams and blackmail.


The directive says companies with valid licenses can operate until licenses expire. After that, the Ministry of Economy and Finance will not renew their licenses.


The government has granted licenses to 163 casinos nationwide.  


Am Sam Ath, a deputy director at non-governmental organization Licadho, said he supported the directive as a contribution to the fight against corruption.


“The government needs to check and monitor authorities concerned that are given the right to work on these cases to guarantee their work is transparent and effective,” he said.


“The government should start implementing the directive now,” he added, calling for “more power to authorities to carry out their work well.”


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