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Sihanoukville casinos to punt Cambodian clientele

A man plays poker at a casino in Preah Sihanouk in 2014.
A man plays poker at a casino in Preah Sihanouk in 2014. Eddie Morton

Sihanoukville casinos to punt Cambodian clientele

Preah Sihanouk Governor Yun Min has asked all casinos in the seaside province to begin enforcing widely flouted laws that ban Cambodians from gambling.

In a statement released on January 20, Min calls for increased vigilance from casinos after local authorities found an increase in the number of Cambodians gambling.

“There are some casinos that do not comply with the government’s strict instructions and have allowed Cambodian clients to gamble, resulting in impacts on public order and social security,” the statement reads.

Min could not be reached for comment yesterday, but Sihanoukville City Governor Y Sokleng seemingly had little stomach for a crackdown, insisting his administration had no authority to enforce the ban.

“It is not related to city administration. And secondly, regarding Cambodians gambling, in the past, the city had invited casinos and instructed them not to allow Cambodian people to play,” he said.

Last week, pictures were released on an anonymous Facebook page ostensibly showing opposition lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang gambling at Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld casino.

A City Hall spokesman yesterday said authorities had taken note of the incident and would continue to ask casinos to not allow Cambodians.

“If there are Cambodians playing, they [casinos] need to bear responsibility for it. But in the future [City Governor Pa Socheatvong] might take some action, we will wait and see.”

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