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Cambodian police raid seven illegal gambling operations

Cambodian authorities have shut down seven illegal online gambling operations in Phnom Penh.

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The crackdown didn’t result in any arrests, however; instead the operators of the illegal sites were simply issued a warning. The gambling operation used houses to set up establishments where players can top up their accounts and gamble behind closed doors.

“Police did not detain any suspects, but instructed them not to engage in illegal online gambling activities, which is contrary to the instructions of the municipal administration,” said police spokesman San Sok Seiha. “If owners do not follow the administration’s instructions, we will implement strict administrative measures and district police will detain and refer the case to court.”

Cambodia has a strict policy against illegal gambling. Just last month, the police raided five different rental houses suspected to be sites of illegal operations.

In total, 45 people were arrested for illegal gambling and breaking health and safety protocols to stop the spread of Covid-19. “They did not seem to be afraid of contracting Covid-19 at all,” said district police deputy chief Kim Bunthan.

“They have violated the provincial authorities’ strict measures to prevent Covid-19 by gambling illegally inside their rental houses.” All 45 people were released after signing an agreement not to repeat the offence.

Back in May, the authorities raided a restaurant at the border of Cambodia and Thailand. A total of 26 people were arrested for illegal gambling, including the owners and managers of the venue.

The police seized gambling materials and temporarily shut down the restaurant. The stance against illegal gambling is further underlined by the ongoing global pandemic, as large gatherings are discouraged.

Cambodia is struggling to deal with Covid-19, with a growing number of daily cases, and the total number in the country reaching 55,000.

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