New Ministry Department to Combat Illegal Gambling

The Interior Ministry on Wednesday announced the creation of a new department to aid in its ongoing crackdown on illegal gambling establishments.

Cases of illegal gambling have involved several types of betting, including “rain betting, lottery, cockfighting and fish gambling,” National Police spokesman Kirth Chantharith said at a press conference on Wednesday morning in Phnom Penh.

“In the first 10 months of 2016, the crackdown has netted 520 cases of illegal gambling in the capital,” General Chantharith said. In rain betting, gamblers bet on what time and for how long it will rain.

Gamblers also bet illegally on fish-themed arcade games.

“In the first nine months of 2016, the government received 168 requests to register gambling businesses, including 65 for online gambling,” Gen. Chantharith said.

The Finance Ministry has granted 77 gambling licenses this year, and 72 of those businesses are currently operating, Gen. Chantharith said.

Interior Minister Sar Kheng also announced that the interior and finance ministries would be drafting a new law on casino gambling licenses.

Earlier this month, 19 Chinese nationals were arrested in Siem Reap City for running an illegal online gambling operation.

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