More than 7,000 jobs lost, dozens of casinos shut in Cambodia as online gambling ban comes into effect

Sihanoukville has been hit hard by the ban, with the number of casinos cut by half from more than 70 to 36 remaining © Arno Maierbrugger

More than 7,000 Cambodians have lost their jobs and dozens of casinos have been closed as a result of a ban on online gambling which comes into effect on January 1, Reuters reported, adding that more closures and job losses are expected when the government begins official inspections this week.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said that he would make the online gambling ban permanent after first announcing a halt in August 2019, saying that the industry had been used by foreign criminals to extort and launder money.

Officials will begin inspecting all casinos nationwide beginning January 1 to make sure they have shut down their online operations, Ros Phearun, deputy director-general of the finance ministry’s financial industry department, told the newswire.

Ros Phearun said that government revenue would be hard-hit, since online gambling had contributed about a quarter of an estimated $80 million per year in total taxes from casinos.

Since the August announcement, an unspecified number of casinos had already ceased operations, with 136 left nationwide by December, he said. That number is expected to go down to 94 casinos by the end of January. The southern resort town of Sihanoukville, which in the recent past has developed in a gambling eldorado fueled by Chinese money, has been hit hard by the ban, with the number of casinos cut by half from more than 70 to 36 remaining.

Yov Khemara, director of the Sihanoukville labour department, said on Tuesday that around 7,700 locals had been left unemployed after the ban. He said many of those workers were now going back to factories.

Sihanoukville has been hit hard by the ban, with the number of casinos cut by half from more than 70 to 36 remaining © Arno Maierbrugger More than 7,000 Cambodians have lost their jobs and dozens of casinos have been closed as a result of a ban on online gambling which comes into effect on January 1, Reuters reported, adding that more closures and job losses are expected when the government begins official inspections this week. Prime Minister Hun Sen said that he would make the online gambling ban permanent after first announcing a halt in August 2019, saying that...

Sihanoukville has been hit hard by the ban, with the number of casinos cut by half from more than 70 to 36 remaining © Arno Maierbrugger

More than 7,000 Cambodians have lost their jobs and dozens of casinos have been closed as a result of a ban on online gambling which comes into effect on January 1, Reuters reported, adding that more closures and job losses are expected when the government begins official inspections this week.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said that he would make the online gambling ban permanent after first announcing a halt in August 2019, saying that the industry had been used by foreign criminals to extort and launder money.

Officials will begin inspecting all casinos nationwide beginning January 1 to make sure they have shut down their online operations, Ros Phearun, deputy director-general of the finance ministry’s financial industry department, told the newswire.

Ros Phearun said that government revenue would be hard-hit, since online gambling had contributed about a quarter of an estimated $80 million per year in total taxes from casinos.

Since the August announcement, an unspecified number of casinos had already ceased operations, with 136 left nationwide by December, he said. That number is expected to go down to 94 casinos by the end of January. The southern resort town of Sihanoukville, which in the recent past has developed in a gambling eldorado fueled by Chinese money, has been hit hard by the ban, with the number of casinos cut by half from more than 70 to 36 remaining.

Yov Khemara, director of the Sihanoukville labour department, said on Tuesday that around 7,700 locals had been left unemployed after the ban. He said many of those workers were now going back to factories.

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