Cambodian authorities arrested 1,241 people for illegal gambling in the first six months of 2023, it has been revealed.
National Police spokesman, Lieutenant General Chhay Kim Khoeun, told media there had been 484 crackdowns in 1H23, with 782 of those arrested educated and released while 459 were sent to court for further proceedings, according to a report by The Khmer Times.
“Relevant forces and authorities will continue the crackdowns and will take strict legal action against the owners of illegal gambling dens for not complying with the law,” Chhay said.
The crackdown on illegal gambling was first announced by Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen in September, who promised to remove any officials who failed to act following a dramatic rise in reported cases of human trafficking and kidnappings linked to the rampant casino industry in the Southeast Asian country.
“I would like to issue a very strict order, please take decisive and timely action,” Hun Sen said at the time.
“I do not hesitate with the removal of the capital-provincial governors, district governors, Khans, municipalities or any level of police officers who are found to be irresponsible.
“I would like to inform you that it is no longer possible to tolerate anarchic situations in the casino. We must be strict.”
As reported by IAG, Cambodia previously stopped issuing online gaming licenses in August 2019 and refused to renew existing licenses when they expired on 1 January 2020 following another directive from the Prime Minister to put an end to the industry.