Cambodia records reduction in illegal gambling dens

Cambodia has reported a reduction in the rate of illegal gambling ever since the government went after the illicit industry. To date, the authorities have closed down 231 illegal gambling establishments and arrested 606 individuals, including six women who are presently facing trial. The authorities lit a fire under the operators of these illegal casinos when the Prime Minister, Hun Sen, gave the directive against them months back in September.

In a statement to the Khmer Times, National Police spokesman Lieutenant General Chhay Kim Khoeun confirmed that the authorities are still active on these cases and will continue to fish out the people running these illegal establishments if they do not desist immediately. The Lt Gen noted that with the reduction in the rate of illegal gambling that they are seeing, the authorities are now more committed than ever to finding the locations and stopping the crimes.

Confirming the Lt Gen’s claims, Heng Kimhong, Head of the Research and Advocacy Program of the Cambodian Youth Network Association also noted the decrease in the rate of illegal gambling across the country since the crackdown began.

Kimhong added, “Although so far there are not so many illegal gambling crime arrests as previously, however, the local authorities must not relax and take swift action to stop illegal gambling sites in their communities.”

One of the attributes of the successes of the crackdown was the Prime Minister’s insistence on sparing no official who refuse to work to make the directive a success. “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.”

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