The Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC) has blocked 14 internet domains which ran illegal gambling websites in Cambodia and one which offered fake visa applications for Pakistan.
In a press release seen by The Post on February 17, TRC said it had previously blocked 25 other domains that were operating illegal lotteries.
“We will continue to cooperate with the National Police, relevant authorities and all telecommunications operators to eliminate any domains that offer online gambling or lottery services – both of which are against the law,” it said.
TRC said the government’s circular of August 2019 had strengthened enforcement against all kinds of foreign online gambling and betting services, as well as websites that contributed a threat to the security or public order of the Kingdom.
Pech Pisey, executive director of Transparency International Cambodia, said on February 17 that unlicensed lotteries and gambling caused many problems in society and affected many people’s livelihoods. The enforcement of laws that shut down websites like these was a positive action, and his organisation fully supported it.
He said lottery gambling was very popular in Cambodia, even in the smallest, most isolated villages. Gambling not only caused people to lose money, but was sometimes a threat to public safety.
Pisey added that some people were willing to save their money for the lottery but would not spend it on their daily necessities. Others play the lottery until they run out of household items because of their addiction.
“Most lotteries are not very transparent and it is often unclear as to what the chances of winning are. They can have serious effects on the people who play them and on society. A person who becomes addicted to playing the lottery may even commit robberies to fuel their addiction,” he said.
The domain names hosting lotteries included minhngoc.com;
minhngoc.bingo;minhngoc.website; vina24h.com; and vina 24.net.
Separately, TRC identified the fake visa application site as pakistanvisaonline.org.
TRC called on the public to report any domain name that provides online gambling, illegal lotteries or child pornography in Cambodia by calling its hotline 6789 during working hours or through their Facebook page “Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia”, noting that it will maintain confidentiality.