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3 Jan 2020

Sokhean Ben, Khmer Times

Cambodia: Govt. bans online gambling and the ban prompts about 400,000 Chinese nationals to leave Cambodia

"Immigration Dept says 400,000 Chinese have left because of online gambling ban", 1 January 2020

The General Department of Immigration ... reported hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationals left the country after Prime Minister Hun Sen ... issued a directive banning all online and arcade gambling operations.

GDI spokesman General Keo Vanthan ... said about 447,000 Chinese nationals left the Kingdom, including those who held long-term visas.

“There were 447,676 [Chinese nationals] who left,” Gen Vanthan said. “It was because of the low [tourist season]…and the online gambling ban in the Kingdom.”

“Most of them left Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville,” he added...

When asked about how many Chinese nationals are working and living in the Kingdom, Gen Vanthan declined to comment.

Mr Hun Sen ..., issued a directive banning all online and arcade gambling in the Kingdom in a bid to safeguard security and public order.

Mr Hun Sen said some licensed online gambling operations rigged their games and threatened those who are not able to repay their gambling debt.

The ban takes effect today and the authorities have been preparing to conduct inspections on casinos across the Kingdom.

A joint committee made up of officials from the Interior Ministry, National Police and Finance Ministry, yesterday held a meeting in preparation for the crackdown.

... “Most of the casinos have ceased their online gambling operations,” Maj Gen Narin said. “Provincial authorities have received the order to take action.”

According to the Finance Ministry, the number of licenced casinos dropped from 163 in June to 136 this month, while the Interior Ministry’s anti-commercial gambling department reported there are 91 licenced casinos in the Kingdom...