For the most part, the neighbouring countries of Cambodia and the Philippines have little issue with one another. However, a blanket ban on online gambling in the former is already having a negative effect on the Philippines.
It was only in the middle of August that the Cambodian government chose to ban online gambling. Via a directive which had been signed by the Cambodian Prime Minister, Hun Sen, players in Cambodia were informed that the issuance of online gambling policy and licences would be stopped from within and outside of the country. After that information was made public, a large number of Chinese nationals chose to exit Cambodia. According to the Ministry of Interior, around 120,000 Chinese nationals have taken the decision to leave within the few weeks since the announcement.
Unfortunately, it seems as though that mass exodus of Chinese people has caused concerns in the Philippines over the potential influx of foreign Chinese workers. This has undoubtedly added to the pressure that the Philippines is facing with China. It was only recently that Beijing called for a ban on all online gambling activities within the Philippines due to it being the sector that employs the most Chinese workers.
It was the Trade Union Congress of the country that expressed its concern over the migrating Chinese people. The Cambodian decision on online gambling was quite the shock to the East Asian market, leaving several countries in an unsure state over what would take place within their own lands.
Cambodia Heads into Action
During the course of the casino workers from China leaving Cambodia, the government there has sprung into action, ordering authorities into the gambling hub of Sihanoukville. A total of 10 casino building owners have been warned with legal action over the fact that they have not followed through with demolition orders that were issued earlier to them.
Within Cambodia, online gambling licences were granted for a one-year period at a time, meaning that the last online casino sites operating within the country will be closed by August of 2020. This comes after the Prime Minister’s directive expressed that there would be restrictions on any new gambling licences able to be handed out.
For the time being, no details have emerged on whether or not this is acting as an absolute ban, although it does seem to be such. Recently, the Deputy General of Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ros Phearun said that no information has been given to them regarding the absolute status of the ban. Speaking with the Asian Review, Mr. Phearun said that the first draft should be referred to for the time being with regard to this.