Sending shockwaves in the regional gambling market, Cambodia completely banned online gambling.
Last month, a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen was issued which read: “The Royal Government of Cambodia will stop the issuance of online gambling policy and licenses, both within and outside of the Kingdom of Cambodia, from the date of signing this directive.”
Following the announcement of the online gambling ban over 100,000 Chinese nationals have left Cambodia in the past two weeks.
According to the estimated figures released by the Cambodian Ministry of Interior, about 120,000 Chinese nationals have left the country since online gambling ban was officially announced. The Ministry said that about 6000 Chinese nationals have been leaving Cambodia every day since the ban was declared.
However, in a recent interview with the Asian Review, Ros Phearun, deputy director-general of Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy and Finance said that they are not sure whether it is an absolute ban or not. He said that one should see the first draft as of now.
In Cambodia, online gambling licenses are awarded for a period of one year. As the directive clearly mentions that no new licenses will be offered, the licenses of current holders will expire by August 2020. It is being claimed that Cambodia will be completely online gambling-free by then.
According to the country’s Ministry of Finance, a total of 163 licenses have been granted of which 91 of them are located only in one province of Preah Sihanouk. This year alone, between January to April, Cambodia issued 13 casino licenses.