Hordes of Chinese leave Cambodia after ban on online gambling

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Sihanoukville, Cambodia’s new casino flash point © Arno Maierbrugger

Around 120,000 Chinese nationals out of a total expat population of some 250,000 have left Cambodia since the country’s government introduced a ban on online gambling on August 18, Radio Free Asia’s Khmer Service cited the country’s immigration department spokesman Ath Bony as saying.

on August 18, Radio Free Asia’s Khmer Service cited the country’s immigration department spokesman Ath Bony as saying.

Bony said that the exodus is likely linked to the new measure announced by Prime Minister Hun Sen, who argued that the online gambling industry had been used by foreign criminals to extort money.

The announcement, which put an end to the issuance of new licenses and will force all related businesses to close operations by the end of 2019, came days after Cambodian police arrested 127 Chinese nationals in Sihanoukville who were suspected of involvement in an internet scam used to extort funds from Chinese citizens in China.

Beijing has expressed support for the ban, saying China stands ready to work with Cambodia to take effective measures to deepen law enforcement.

The Chinese population in Cambodia has increased dramatically in the past few years after Chinese investment has flowed into casinos, hotels and real estate in the country, particularly in Sihanoukville, turning the once sleepy seaside town into a casino flash point mostly for Chinese gamblers.

Bony said that the exodus of the Chinese, whose home nation does not permit gambling of any kind, would not affect the casino industry or other types of business in Cambodia.

He added that Chinese tourists and investors continue to flock to Cambodia at a rate of around 5,000 daily.

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Sihanoukville, Cambodia's new casino flash point © Arno Maierbrugger Around 120,000 Chinese nationals out of a total expat population of some 250,000 have left Cambodia since the country’s government introduced a ban on online gambling on August 18, Radio Free Asia’s Khmer Service cited the country’s immigration department spokesman Ath Bony as saying. on August 18, Radio Free Asia’s Khmer Service cited the country’s immigration department spokesman Ath Bony as saying. Bony said that the exodus is likely linked to the new measure announced by Prime Minister Hun Sen, who argued that the online gambling industry had been used by...

Reading Time: 1 minute

Sihanoukville, Cambodia’s new casino flash point © Arno Maierbrugger

Around 120,000 Chinese nationals out of a total expat population of some 250,000 have left Cambodia since the country’s government introduced a ban on online gambling on August 18, Radio Free Asia’s Khmer Service cited the country’s immigration department spokesman Ath Bony as saying.

on August 18, Radio Free Asia’s Khmer Service cited the country’s immigration department spokesman Ath Bony as saying.

Bony said that the exodus is likely linked to the new measure announced by Prime Minister Hun Sen, who argued that the online gambling industry had been used by foreign criminals to extort money.

The announcement, which put an end to the issuance of new licenses and will force all related businesses to close operations by the end of 2019, came days after Cambodian police arrested 127 Chinese nationals in Sihanoukville who were suspected of involvement in an internet scam used to extort funds from Chinese citizens in China.

Beijing has expressed support for the ban, saying China stands ready to work with Cambodia to take effective measures to deepen law enforcement.

The Chinese population in Cambodia has increased dramatically in the past few years after Chinese investment has flowed into casinos, hotels and real estate in the country, particularly in Sihanoukville, turning the once sleepy seaside town into a casino flash point mostly for Chinese gamblers.

Bony said that the exodus of the Chinese, whose home nation does not permit gambling of any kind, would not affect the casino industry or other types of business in Cambodia.

He added that Chinese tourists and investors continue to flock to Cambodia at a rate of around 5,000 daily.

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