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Over 90% of Cambodian illegal gambling shut down

Over 90% of illegal gambling business owners in Cambodia have ceased trading after police launched an eight-day nationwide operation, as reported by The Phnom Penh Post.

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Officers are reportedly still suppressing operations throughout the country, along with stepping up their efforts to educate the general public about the dangers of gambling.

On Friday, Secretary of state of the Ministry of Interior Sok Phal told Preah Sihanouk Province Governor Kuoch Chamroeun that the ministry will continue to rid the streets of illegal gambling sites, saying: “We all know that we have busted hundreds of places, and now gambling has died out, with more than 90% of illegal dens closed down. 

“Despite this, there are still a few locations running their businesses, so we will cooperate with the authorities of Preah Sihanouk and other provinces to shut them down.”

Local authorities have stopped most illegal activities in villages, communes and districts, with five illegal gambling sites in Sihanoukville recently raided. Multiple foreign suspects were arrested.

It is believed a total of over 1,000 foreigners of 10 different nationalities were held on suspicion of human trafficking, online gambling and breaching immigration laws.

Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Khliang Huot explained that a team effort is required to fully eradicate illegal gambling in the country, specifically touching on pawnshops: “Illegal pawnshops are a source of crime, gambling and affect the livelihoods of low-income people.”

He noted that non-participation by authorities would be considered conduct which disrespected the public, while adding that all pawnshops which accepted stolen goods and items with insufficient documentation must be eliminated.

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