The Prime Minster for Cambodia, Hun Sen (pictured), has reportedly declared that his government intends to cease issuing or renewing online gambling licenses by the end of the year as it looks to preserve public order and national security.

According to a Saturday report from the Khmer Times newspaper, the move was first announced a little over two weeks ago in response to a proliferation in online and telephone fraud schemes targeted at ethnic Chinese consumers but had contained no definitive deadline.

Dwindling dependence:

However, the 67-year-old Prime Minister used an official government statement over the weekend to declare that his nation must not rely on such iGaming licensing to bring in foreign tax revenues and should instead endeavor to develop an economy that is based on the provision of services associated with local tourism.

Domestic prohibition:

The Khmer Times reported that Sen moreover issued a directive last week that had banned all online casino and arcade gambling in Cambodia after discovering that some unscrupulous operators had been rigging their games and threatening anyone who was unable to repay their gambling debts.

The government statement read…

“All kinds of online and arcade gambling in the kingdom are illegal and it must end all these businesses by the end of 2019. Samdech Prime Minister said that Cambodia needed to develop the country based on natural and cultural heritage tourism but not based on an income from online gambling.”

Expanded brief:

The Khmer Times reported that the Cambodian law enforcement officials have now additionally been tasked with investigating and obstructing all forms of illegal online gambling, which is a move that immediately drew praise from authorities in China.