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Gov't silent on payouts to gambling industry

Gov't silent on payouts to gambling industry

FOLLOWING last month's state-imposed ban on licensed gambling establishments in the Kingdom, the government has remained tight-lipped over its handling of compensation requests from the companies it forced to close.

Cambo Six sent a letter to the Ministry of Finance last week requesting compensation for lost infrastructure investments, according to the sports betting company's head office manager, Nancy Chau. Sporting Live Group followed suit Wednesday, according to a former employee.

Mey Vann, director of the Financial Industry Department, the ministry office most directly involved with the issue, said Thursday he had not received any petitions. He would only say his office was "not thinking about compensation until complaints are received." However,  a day earlier, Chea Peng Chheang, a secretary of state at the ministry, said the government was in negotiations with former gambling companies but did not say whether compensation had been offered or which companies would be eligible.

Meanwhile, Oum Mean, a secretary of state at the Labour Ministry, said there were no plans in place to provide compensation to workers laid off by the ban.

The Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission Wednesday called on the government to bear the brunt of the costs to companies and workers caused by its decision.

Chea Mony, president of the Free Trade Union, which did not represent any of the laid-off workers, said the government was wrong to implement the move so abruptly that thousands of people were put out of work with only a day's notice.

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