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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM vows to close Cambo Six

PM vows to close Cambo Six

The Kingdom's only bookie will not be given a new licence: Hun Sen

PRIME Minister Hun Sen called for the closure of Cambo Six on Tuesday, claiming that the Kingdom's sole bookmaker had caused social problems that outweighed its economic contribution to society.

Speaking at the National Institute of Education in Phnom Penh, the PM ordered the gambling entity to shut, no matter the scale of financial compensation the state would be required to offer as a result.

"Family disputes, domestic violence and robbery are caused by gaming ... that's the reason we want to close this company as soon as possible," Hun Sen said at a graduation ceremony for Human Resources University students. "Cambo Six will close without the continuation of its licence."

The bookmaker's licence will expire in 2011, after which time it will not be renewed, the prime minister said. Cambo Six could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

The opposition Sam Rainsy Party said the forced closure had been long overdue.

"The government should have acted from the beginning instead of allowing it to become a bad habit like it has done," SRP lawmaker Son Chhay said Tuesday, adding that the state should start a campaign to warn people of the dangers of gambling.

Chea Vannath, a social analyst, welcomed the prime minister's decision, claiming it would improve the Kingdom's social fabric.

"Many [gambling] affected families will be better off due to the closure because they will no longer be able to lose money," she said.

Hun Sen also repeated a call to cut off slot machines to Cambodians, warning that gaming venues should shut down voluntarily or face forced closure. Addressing slot machine casino managers, the prime minister said: "Is your will stronger than that of Hun Sen?"

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