Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday issued a directive banning all online and arcade gambling in the Kingdom in a bid to safeguard security and public order.
A government statement said Mr Hun Sen signed the directive and noted that some licensed online gambling operations rigged their games and threatened those who are not able to repay their gambling debt.
“Some foreigners have used this form of gambling to cheat victims inside and outside the country,” Mr Hun Sen said in the directive. “The Royal Government has decided to stop issuing licenses for such operations within and from outside the Kingdom with immediate effect.”
The directive said that permitted online gambling sites and gaming operators will be allowed to continue operations until their licences expire, following which the Finance Ministry will not renew them.
Lieutenant General Chhay Kim Khoeun, National Police spokesman, yesterday said that police will follow the directive and crack down on all online gambling operations.
“We have already been cracking down on illegal gambling operations and as you have seen, we have arrested hundreds of people,” he noted.
Yong Kim Eng, president of the People Centre for Development and Peace, yesterday said that after the authorities stop providing licences, they have to increase vigilance against illegal operations which could increase.
“Authorities have to zero in on locations providing such services and ensure that there are no more slot machines in the Kingdom,” Mr Kim Eng said.
San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, yesterday said that illegal gambling operations continue in the Kingdom because of weak law enforcement.