July 26, 2023 2 min read

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Cambodia Arrests 1,241 People in H1 2023 in Illegal Gambling Cases

Cambodia has continued with its crackdown on illegal gambling throughout the first half of the year and arrested more than 1,000 perpetrators

A total of 1,241 people were arrested in various operations over the period. The news was confirmed by National Police spokesperson Lieutenant General Chhay Kim Khoeun who outlined the work of authorities during the half-year.

Cambodia Keeps the Heat on Illegal Gambling

Out of the people arrested, 782 people were instructed and “educated” not to gamble any more, but in the cases of 459 people, their offenses were considered serious enough to merit court proceedings.

Chhay reaffirmed the police force’s commitment to cracking down on illegal gambling operations across the board and follows a government-wide effort to uproot the practice from the country. Prime Minister Hun Sen vowed to clean his country from illegal gambling back in September 2022 and has directed the police to do his bidding.

This commitment enabled the country to get off the Financial Action Task Force list, which features countries with dubious AML laws and a proliferation of illicit practices which is bad for foreign investors. Gambling in Cambodia has also been linked to human trafficking and kidnappings, putting the country in an even worse light with international partners.

Getting the Results That Matter

The prime minister enacted his will by replacing local and district governors in order to signal to the rest that he values progress against illegal gambling very highly. “I would like to inform you that it is no longer possible to tolerate anarchic situations in the casino. We must be strict,” Hun Sen told at the time he launched his war on the illicit gambling sector.

Cambodia has been under pressure from China, an important trade and economic partner, to rein in the gambling industry. This led to the government’s decision to stop issuing new licenses for online gambling operations in 2019.

The news of the latest crackdown is the first big news coming out of the country vis-à-vis illegal gambling in recent months which demonstrates the success Cambodia has had in tackling the larger issue. Regardless, the number of arrests indicates that there is a vibrant scene built around illicit gambling.

Journalist

Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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