Cambodia Casinos Not Complying With Online Gambling Ban

  • A ban on Cambodian gambling sites came into effect on January 1, 2020
  • Chinese newspaper alleged notable Canadian casinos still offer online gambling services
  • WM Casino footage released January 29 shows dealers interacting via digital gambling channels
  • Casinos that complied with gambling site shutdown are struggling to be profitable
A number of major casinos in Cambodia are allegedly not complying with the online gambling ban that was implemented on January 1. [Image:]

Casinos allegedly violating rules

Despite online gambling platforms becoming illegal in Cambodia from January 1, 2020, a number of major local casinos are allegedly violating the rules.

a significant level of upheaval in the gambling capital of Cambodia

The South China Morning Post reported a significant level of upheaval in the gambling capital of Cambodia, Sihanoukville, since the ban came into effect. 

It alleged that certain casinos still have active online gambling sites. GoBo East Casino and WM Casino, both located in Sihanoukville, were among the names mentioned.

Chinese newspaper investigates the matter

The Chinese newspaper spoke with a WM Casino floor manager about the live dealer tables at the facility, where croupiers appear actively smiling at webcams. The floor manager said the dealers only cater to gamblers that are sitting in other parts of the casino and gambling through a closed-circuit network. 

Moreover, a video that premiered on the official WM Casino YouTube channel on January 29 features female webcam dealers and digital channels used to access online gambling offerings.

According to the newspaper, a director of Lixin Group, the parent company of WM Casino, is a nephew of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. Hun Sen had complied with the Chinese authorities’ requests to shut down online gambling in the country. The directive was issued in August 2019.

An issue going forward

Cambodia has come under the spotlight following the report that notable casinos in the country are apparently still operating online gambling sites. The onus is now on the local authorities to bring gambling businesses in line with current regulations. 

casinos in the region that complied with the gambling site shutdown order have been struggling to be profitable

Many casinos in the region that complied with the gambling site shutdown order have been struggling to be profitable, now they no longer have online gambling as a revenue source. 

Reason for the shutdown

The reason China called for the shutdown of online gambling sites in nations such as Cambodia was that a large portion of these platforms targeted residents in mainland China. Gambling is illegal in the country, except on the island of Macau.

Cambodia complied with the request. In response, the Chinese authorities made certain financial support pledges to help major Cambodian regions that would be affected by the closure of these gambling sites

The Philippines was also ordered to cease its online gambling operations. The government, however, refused to put a stop to what it considers a lucrative source of revenue for the nation. 

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