Chinese Gamblers Start Leaving Cambodia Due To Online Gambling Ban
The Chinese love to gamble and since they cannot indulge in legal gambling in Mainland China, they often travel to neighboring countries like Cambodia, Vietnam and Singapore to indulge in legal gambling activities.
Cambodia has turned out to be a much sought after destination by Chinese nationals as the government has encouraged the gambling industry over the years since its brings in a steady flow of tourists, mostly from China and a lucrative stream of taxes from the gambling industry.
A number of online gambling operators set up shop in Cambodia due to its liberal gaming regulations and started targeting the Chinese market. Thousands of Chinese tourists also visit Cambodia on a weekly basis to have their share of fun at the gambling tables and other forms of entertainment that Cambodia has to offer.
However, recent reports show that there has been a slowdown in the number of Chinese tourists coming into Cambodia and more Chinese tourists are reportedly leaving the country. The main reason behind the slowdown and departure of Chinese tourists is being attributed to the online gambling ban that was recently imposed by the Cambodian government.
One of the reasons for the blanket online gambling ban was because of alleged criminal activities being attached to online gambling. The Prime Minister decided to roll out an online gambling ban on August 18 in an effort to curtail organised crime and bring back security to Cambodia.
There were allegations that online gambling operators targeting Chinese nationals were deliberately fixing their games which resulted in gamblers losing heavily. These gamblers were then intimidated by criminal gangs for not being able to pay their debts.
Chinese Nationals Leaving Quickly
Between Aug 18 to Sep 7, a reported 140,000 Chinese nationals have left Cambodia and only 130,000 Chinese nationals were reported to have entered the country. A Brigadier General who is part of the General Department of Immigration said that since the online gambling ban came about, they noticed that more Chinese nationals started leaving.
Even though tourism numbers have dropped significantly, the government appears to be alright as of now with this as it is giving more importance to safety and security in the country.
Cambodia’s decision to ban online gambling stems from the pressure imposed by Beijing. China also tried the same tactic with the Philippines but the government decided against banning online gambling.