More than 200,000 Chinese nationals left Cambodia in the wake of the Prime Minister’s decision to ban online gaming operations in the Kingdom, the government of the kingdom has revealed.
Prime Minister Hun Sen announced in August that the government would stop issuing new gaming licenses and no longer renew existing ones, with the ban becoming official as of 1 January 2020.
On Thursday, the General Department of Immigration (GDI) reported a massive decline in the number of Chinese nationals working in Cambodia since the ban came into effect.
“In 2019, the number of foreigners staying for a long term in the Kingdom drastically increased, especially Chinese nationals who came to work in casinos,” said General Kirth Chantharith, Director-General of the GDI.
“We provided visas to about 450,000 foreigners to stay in our country, and 70% of them were Chinese. This number dramatically decreased after the Royal Government announced the ban on all online gambling in August.
“To the end of 2019, more than 200,000 Chinese nationals left the Kingdom.”
The ban has also seen the number of licensed casinos operating in Cambodia fall from 163 last June to 118 as of late January, with 56 of those still in operation being in Sihanoukville.