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Hun Sen Orders Gambling Crackdown

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday ordered a clampdown on slot machines and other gambling instruments nationwide.

"I found 12 slot machines in Phnom Penh, two in Sihanoukville and one in Kandal province that have abused the government's directive," Hun Sen told the Council of Ministers.

Hun Sen pushed the Finance Ministry to control hotels with slot machines in Phnom Penh, adding, "We don't allow Khmers to play."

Human Rights Party President Kem Sokha said Friday he doubted the order would be implementing, citing as examples attempts to shut down illegal checkpoints and smuggling operations, as well as failed attempts to reform the judiciary.

"I always hear Prime Minister Hun Sen issue orders to eliminate corruption and robbery, but the government never does that," said Heang Rithy, chairman of the Cambodian National Research Organization.

Cambodian People's Party lawmaker Cheam Yiep said the government was willing to do what was in the public interest. Gambling was destroying society, "so we don't want it to happen in Cambodia," he said.