Cambodia Prohibits Online Gambling

Published Friday, February 27, 2009 - Online-Casinos.com

A directive from Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen demanded an end to gambling to "make social reform, strengthen public order, and improve social morality".

Keat Chhon, Minister of Finance, for the Kingdom, issued a declaration Wednesday terminating all previously valid licenses. An earlier government crackdown targeted all electronic gaming, slot machines and sports betting.

Cambo Six, a licenced operator, was shut down for "moral reasons" last Tuesday following the abrupt announcement. "We will punish, in accordance with the law, any business licensee who disrespects this declaration," Mr. Chhon stated.

Nancy Chau, Cambo Six's headquarters manager, said she was advised by Keat Chhon to send a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a compromise on the issue in a bid to save the considerable investment in the company, both foreign and domestic.

Sporting Live Group, an web based sports gambling chain established in 2006 has closed its operations, being the latest company to be hit by the government prohibition on online gambling.

"We agreed to close our business in accordance with the government's decision," said a Sporting Live Group spokesperson. Sporting Live Group along with Cambo Six has some foreign investment. Sporting Live Group said it employed over 200 people in the Phnom Penh capital as well as in it's provincial outlets.

Sok Sambath District Governor for Daun Penh said he has complied with the government's directive to cease the operations of licensed gaming venues.
"We have closed all seven Cambo Six branches, three Sporting Live Group branches and nine slot-machine venues in Daun Penh, the Governor stated.
In Preah Sihanouk province, Governor Sboang Sarath also closed a number of gambling venues.

These operations were to be licenced until January 31, 2011. A surprised Chau said "We told the prime minister we have an agreement; we cannot immediately end the agreement,"

Sporting Live and Cambo Six said that they had not been able to pay out all winnings owed to their participants due to the shut down, despite Keat Chhon's insistence that all wagers will be honoured.



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