Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Betting crackdown called for

Betting crackdown called for

A croupier sits at a game table in a Bavet casino earlier this year as the game is transmitted to patrons via webcam.
A croupier sits at a game table in a Bavet casino earlier this year as the game is transmitted to patrons via webcam. Victoria Mørck Madsen

Betting crackdown called for

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng in a meeting yesterday called on authorities at all levels to strengthen their enforcement of a long-standing ban on citizens gambling, which has been only sporadically enforced over the years.

“I request to relevant institutions to put in place mechanisms, and for our provincial, district and military police to work together to crack down on illegal gambling,” Kheng told assembled ministry officials.

Small-time gambling on cards and cockfights remains common across the Kingdom, and bans on Cambodians gambling in established casinos have proven easy to flout in the past.

However, according to National Police spokesman Kirth Chantharith, internal security officers have in past months been stationed outside casinos to perform checks and prohibit the entrance of Cambodians, a move he described to have yielded “good results”.

“[We] have [also] received good results for the [overall] crackdown and prevented gambling,” he said, adding that a total of 520 cases of gambling – ranging from lotteries to cockfights to football betting – were prevented in the past 10 months.Phnom Penh had the most cases, with 110; followed by Kratie, with 57; and casino hotspot Preah Sihanouk, with 39.

“The owners of the casinos [sometimes] do not cooperate with armed forces because they are only concerned about having more clients.”

He also noted that some local gambling rings “are protected and intervened in by backers”, making “local forces hesitate to [raid them]”.

Chantharith also acknowledged that there were “a few authorities involved in gambling”, but declined to comment further.

MOST VIEWED

  • Woman detained for murder of hairdresser over unpaid $1K debt

    A woman has been held in connection with the murder of a 40-year-old widow. The victim’s daughter claims the motive was the suspect’s unpaid four million riel ($1,000) debt to her mother. The 17-year-old girl, Pich Sievmey, said her mother, Koem Yaneang, a hairdresser

  • ‘Life goes on’ if Cambodia loses Everything But Arms

    Cambodia's business sector is exploring ways to mitigate any fallout from a possible loss of access to the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement as talks continue before the 28-member bloc makes a final decision. The EU monitoring process is set to conclude in

  • Nesat beach: A magnet drawing tourists to the Kingdom’s coastline

    A white sandy beach lined by countless coconut trees awaits travellers off Cambodia’s southwest coast in Koh Kong province’s Srae Ambel district, about 170km from Phnom Penh. Over the past few years Nesat beach – a name inspired by a nearby fishing village – has

  • Woman confesses to murder, dismemberment over debt

    The daughter of a woman who was killed and dismembered in Phnom Penh earlier this month requested the authorities on Wednesday to impose the death penalty on the woman who killed her mother, after listening to the killer confess and describe her gruesome actions without