Cambodian authorities have shut down 231 illegal gambling businesses and arrested 606 people since Prime Minister Hun Sen announced a crackdown on illegal gambling in September, a senior police official revealed.
National Police spokesman Lieutenant General Chhay Kim Khoeun confirmed the figure in a statement issued over the weekend, according to The Khmer Times, adding, “The relevant authorities are still continuing their operations to find people who are involved in illegal gambling. The police force will advise the operators to cease operations, however, if they ignore their advice they will be arrested and legal action will be taken against them.
“We see less of this kind of illegal activity. Police have still cracked down on illegal gambling and will continue to find locations and stop illegal gambling crimes.”
The Prime Minister issued his order on 17 September, promising 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.