The online gambling ban in Cambodia seems to have been implemented successfully as the government had called for all online gambling centers to shut down by 31 December. Earlier in August 2019, Cambodia announced a ban on online gambling and said that no new licenses would be issued.
However, as the government called for an inspection of gambling facilities to check if any is offering online gambling after 31 December – a deadline given by the authorities – several operators abandoned their gambling centers. With the inspection of casinos which began on January 1, 2020, many have just left their gambling centers.
The country’s Ministry of Interior has reported that there are no online gambling centers operating illegally in Cambodia as of now. This comes after the anti-commercial gambling department of the ministry launched a three-day inspection drive to shut and identify operators offering online gambling at their centers.
Gambling Facilities Comply With The Ban
According to Lieutenant General Sien Sen, director of the department, casinos and gambling facilities are complying with the ban.
“We started our inspection campaign…and so far, we have not yet found any illegal online gambling operations,” Lt Gen Sen said. “Some of those casinos ceased their [online gambling] operations while others are still being inspected.”
“We need three days to inspect each casino in the country. Our joint committee is still working on it,” he added. “We are only cracking down on online and arcade gambling operations, which are illegal.”
Online gambling has been associated with more harm than good by Cambodian lawmakers. Also, the regional superpower China had been calling for a ban on all forms of online gambling in the region. Cambodia complied and ordered all casinos (including licensed) in the country to stop offering online gambling with immediate effect.
The closure of online gambling in Cambodia triggered an exodus of Chinese nationals who dominated the country’s online gambling market. The ban on online gambling in the country has also left several thousand without a job.