Cambodia could reverse ban on online gambling

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Cambodia Could Reverse Ban On Online Gambling

The Cambodian government may reverse its decision to shut down its online gambling industry, risking the ire of closest regional ally China, the Nikkei Asian Review wrote.

A directive issued last month said that dozens of licenses expiring at the end the year will not be renewed, noting that action is needed to tackle “security and social order” and that “foreign criminals” have been engaging in “online fraud.” Since the ban was announced last month, close to 250,000 Chinese have left the country.

“We are not sure yet if it’s an absolute ban or not,” Ros Phearun, deputy director general of Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy and Finance, told Nikkei Asian Review on the sidelines of a gambling summit in Phnom Penh this week, adding that he would wait and see the draft law first.

Cambodia is not the only country in the region to develop an online gambling industry that caters to mainland Chinese clients; the Philippines has one as well.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte — another regional leader who has forged closer ties with Beijing — announced last week that he had rejected demands by Chinese President Xi Jinping to shut down his country’s online gambling industry.

Cambodia, however, seems to have gone along with calls to shut the industry down, at least initially.

Cambodian officials recently ordered the demolition of 14 recently constructed buildings in the southern coastal city of Sihanoukville, including a number of casino hotels that were found to be dangerously flawed following a building collapse in June which killed 28 workers.

According to local media reports, around 90 per cent of businesses — including massage parlors, restaurants and casinos — in the beach boom town are owned by Chinese, and the influx of Chinese has led to a rising number of crimes like murder, kidnapping and extortion.

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The Cambodian government may reverse its decision to shut down its online gambling industry, risking the ire of closest regional ally China, the Nikkei Asian Review wrote. A directive issued last month said that dozens of licenses expiring at the end the year will not be renewed, noting that action is needed to tackle "security and social order" and that "foreign criminals" have been engaging in "online fraud." Since the ban was announced last month, close to 250,000 Chinese have left the country. "We are not sure yet if it's an absolute ban or not," Ros Phearun, deputy director general...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Cambodia Could Reverse Ban On Online Gambling

The Cambodian government may reverse its decision to shut down its online gambling industry, risking the ire of closest regional ally China, the Nikkei Asian Review wrote.

A directive issued last month said that dozens of licenses expiring at the end the year will not be renewed, noting that action is needed to tackle “security and social order” and that “foreign criminals” have been engaging in “online fraud.” Since the ban was announced last month, close to 250,000 Chinese have left the country.

“We are not sure yet if it’s an absolute ban or not,” Ros Phearun, deputy director general of Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy and Finance, told Nikkei Asian Review on the sidelines of a gambling summit in Phnom Penh this week, adding that he would wait and see the draft law first.

Cambodia is not the only country in the region to develop an online gambling industry that caters to mainland Chinese clients; the Philippines has one as well.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte — another regional leader who has forged closer ties with Beijing — announced last week that he had rejected demands by Chinese President Xi Jinping to shut down his country’s online gambling industry.

Cambodia, however, seems to have gone along with calls to shut the industry down, at least initially.

Cambodian officials recently ordered the demolition of 14 recently constructed buildings in the southern coastal city of Sihanoukville, including a number of casino hotels that were found to be dangerously flawed following a building collapse in June which killed 28 workers.

According to local media reports, around 90 per cent of businesses — including massage parlors, restaurants and casinos — in the beach boom town are owned by Chinese, and the influx of Chinese has led to a rising number of crimes like murder, kidnapping and extortion.

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