Cambodian online gaming crackdown instigates Chinese flight

In Cambodia and ‘a large number of Chinese nationals’ have reportedly started to leave the seaside community of Sihanoukville following last month’s decision by the government for the Southeast Asian nation to cease issuing or renewing online gambling licenses.

According to a report from GGRAsia, citing a story from the South China Morning Post newspaper, the move from the Prime Minister for Cambodia, Hun Sen, is expected to come fully into force by the end of the year and has been designed to as a way to help local law enforcement officials crack down on a recent proliferation in online and telephone fraud schemes targeted towards ethnic Chinese consumers.

Familiarity fallout:

A city of approximately 90,000 people located on the Gulf of Thailand, Sihanoukville is widely considered to be a hub for the local online gambling industry while GGRAsia reported that the recent exodus is likely to consist of native Chinese workers who had been employed to help supply iGaming services to players in their homeland.

Land-based indifference:

However, the flight of so many Chinese workers is likely not to impact business at the over 40 local land-based casinos that have been built with help from investors in the world’s most populated nation. These foreigner-only venues include the recently-opened Xihu Resort Hotel as well as the similarly fresh Golden Sea Hotel and Casino that have helped to transform this once-sleepy community into a destination for gamblers from as far afield as Malaysia, South Korea and China.

Cambodian cooperation:

The article from the South China Morning Post moreover detailed that Cambodian law enforcement officials working in partnership with their counterparts in China had last week conducted operations in the cities of Bavet and Sihanoukville that had resulted in the arrest of some 150 Chinese nationals. These suspects were later purportedly deported to their motherland and are to now most likely set to face criminal charges related to the unauthorized operation of online casinos and sportsbetting.

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