CITY authorities will be on the lookout for any illegal gambling as the football World Cup kicks off later this week, police officials said Monday, pledging to uphold the betting ban handed down by Prime Minister Hun Sen last year.
Phnom Penh Municipal Police Chief Touch Naruth said Monday that both foreigners and locals would be free to enjoy the monthlong tournament, which starts Friday night, but would be banned from placing any bets.
“We know that some countries in the world would allow betting on the World Cup, but Cambodia will not allow it, and we are strictly standing by the decision of Prime Minister Hun Sen to eliminate all forms of gambling,” he said.
In February last year, Hun Sen abruptly ordered the closure of the country’s sports betting outlets and slot-machine parlours, saying they had been responsible for a moral decline in the Kingdom. Cambo Six, a Hong Kong-owned sports betting agency, was among the largest targets of the crackdown.
Touch Naruth said local police had been ordered to arrest anyone found betting on the World Cup.
“We already eliminated Cambo Six and will not allow it to happen again,” he said.
Born Sam Ath, the police chief of Dangkor district, said he had ordered officials in all of the district’s 15 communes to keep an eye out for people who try to flout the gambling ban.
“If any commune police chief ignores [illegal betting], he will face being fired from his post, but I hope that in Dangkor district there will be no betting on the World Cup,” he said.