Cambodia’s recent crackdown on online gambling has seen thousands of Chinese nationals leave Sihanoukville, a coastal city in Cambodia rife with illegal online gambling, over past weeks.
On August 18, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced the ban on online gambling, which will shut down all related businesses by the end of 2019. The move comes at a time when the local government is increasingly aware of the deleterious impacts of the chaotic gambling industry on economic development and public security. Hoping to take a shortcut to wealth, many people were allured to engage in the illegal online gambling industry in Sihanoukville in recent years. Thus, many social problems like illegal gambling, extortion and online cheating are rife in the city, seriously impacting local stability and local people’s lives.