After a Wave of Crackdowns, Cambodia Redefines Gambling Law and Enforcement

Published October 29, 2022 by Lee R

After a Wave of Crackdowns, Cambodia Redefines Gambling Law and Enforcement

A move led by the Cambodian PM has resulted in a redefinition of licensing and enforcement.

Scandal-embattled Cambodia has issued much-needed revisions to casino laws.

The Updates

In a report published in Phnom Penh Post, Cambodia Gaming Authority General Secretariat of the Commercial Gambling Management Commission of Cambodia CGMC is redefining the requirements for operating gaming businesses in the jurisdiction.


The report indicates the goal targets gambling operators and casino managers to better uphold commercial gambling laws by identifying and protecting the rights of legitimate operators across a landscape engulfed with ongoing crackdowns on illegal offerings.

CGMC Position

The CGMC released the following explanation:

The guidelines aim to crack down on all illegal gambling activities and gambling dens and to promote legal commercial gambling.

First Step

First, some housecleaning: all casino operators and owners have been ordered to apply for a licence or renew their casino licences to continue operation.

Where Operations are Permitted

The geographical locations of the operations must be identified in individual casino development proposals, with licencees eligible only to operate in premises identified in the casino licenses they possess, in full compliance with the requirements of the Law on the Management of Commercial Gambling and relevant legal documents.

Certification to Continue

Those casino operators or casino owners who previously applied for casino licences from Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy and Finance and remain compliant will receive a certificate of legality permitting further operations in 2022. 

All who receive certificates will be expected to operate under strict CGMC control and supervision in a region where the lack of compliance has been too abundant of late. 

Recent Scandal

Last September 30, a two-week crackdown on illegal activity ordered by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen resulted in the take-down of 1700 dens in Phnom Penh, necessitating the updates. 

Calling out Law Enforcement

The Prime Minister was also vocal in reiterating his expectation of law enforcement officials to continue enforcing existing casino laws and cracking down on expanding illegal activity.

Cambodia PM Speaks

The PM went so far as to call into question the efforts of local authorities to enforce gambling regulations to this point:

Regarding the issue of safety in villages and communes, which we have been implementing for many years, why is it that gambling places seem to appear out of nowhere and for everybody to see, and local authorities seem to ignore these places and fail to eliminate them?


Beyond revamping gambling requirements, Cambodia still clearly has to address lax enforcement of existing and updated guidelines to eradicate illegal play and achieve a functional regulation model.   

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