Active players: 2.500.000
Currency: Cambodian riel (KHR)
Regulated gambling products: Casino games, lotteries, sports betting
Operator types: Land-based casinos, state-run lotteries, unlicensed online bookies & casinos
Designated authority: Integrated Resort Management and Commercial Gambling Committee
Cambodia, officially ‘the Kingdom of Cambodia’, is a country in Southeast Asia at the southern Indochinese Peninsula. It was under French rule from 1863 up until it gained its independence in 1953. After many turbulent years that followed, it finally got its very own political shape, which still stands; a unitary parliamentary elective constitutional monarchy. Cambodians are passionate gamblers and they tend to bet on every major sporting event; ranging from cockfighting and kickboxing, to Sepak Takraw and football. So in terms of sports betting Cambodia has everyone covered.
However, since 1996, most forms of gambling in Cambodia have been illegal for locals. They may only participate in lotteries, while all other forms of gambling are punishable by law. Luckily for them though, enforcing the law is actually not a top priority for the state. Sihanoukville and Poipet are the major gambling city-hubs, attracting thousands of tourists. Despite the legal framework, most international sportsbooks accept local bettors. Thankfully for the latter; since the local gambling offering through betting agents is extremely unstable and poor.
Gambling in Cambodia - 5 things to know
- All forms of gambling are illegal for locals
- There are plenty of casinos attracting thousands of tourists
- There is no licensing system for online bookmakers
- Laws are reportedly quite loosely enforced
- Online gambling has also been banned since 2019
Best sportsbooks in Cambodia
Below we list the best sportsbooks available online, offering a wide coverage on all major football competitions. Also, check the appealing promos that await you upon opening your account.
Sport betting in Cambodia: The law framework
Gambling in Cambodia has a long history of bans. It was illegal during the hard years of the Khmer Rouge regime and made a bounce back in the early nineties. However, the 1996 ‘Law on the Suppression of Gambling’ deemed all gambling activities illegal; just for the locals. It is still the main piece of legislation, applying to sport betting in Cambodia too. Punishment ranges from 10-50,000 riels and up to one month imprisonment. For repeat offenders, fines could reach 100,000 riels and up to one year in jail. Still, there is reportedly not a very strict enforcement in everyday life.
The 2020 ‘Law on the Management of Integrated Resorts and Commercial Gambling’ (LMCG) made online gambling illegal too. The law aims at “further strengthening the management of commercial gaming facilities in Cambodia so as to contribute to boosting economic growth, promoting tourism, increasing tax revenue as well as maintaining social safety and security.” It came as a result of the recent development of casinos and online gambling operations; which was mainly driven by Chinese investors. Over 190 casinos are currently operating in the country, all licensed under the Cambodia online gambling law; yet, they’re open only for tourists.
Online betting sites in Cambodia never actually had the option of obtaining a local license, except for once. In 2002, CamboxSix, a local bookmaker, received the only ever license valid for nine years. However, in 2009, two years before its expiry, the Prime Minister revoked it. Gambling was blamed for the rise of crime levels and corruption and all twenty betting shops of CamboxSix were closed simultaneously. The same happened with slot machines which, up until 2009, locals could legally enjoy.
Moreover, the ban on the issuance of licenses for online gambling operators, targeting the casino sector, led to huge numbers of Chinese nationals leaving Poipet and Sihanoukville. Lastly, you should keep in mind that nowadays, if locals want to place an online bet, Cambodia laws are not as strict as in the brick and mortar sector.
If you are a local, remember that typically it’s illegal to partake in any type of gambling. No Cambodia bet companies exist; yet, at the same time, authorities do not block access to any online sportsbook. Measures are definitely much more loose in the online gambling environment. You will come across several bookmakers, so beware that many of them will be scam. And since it is illegal in the first place, you won’t have the ability to claim anything in case a problem comes up. So, in order to avoid losing your money, just stick to the ones we are listing in our analysis.
The main question when gambling in Cambodia remains; to what extent is the law actually enforced? Well, measures towards online gamblers are not harsh. Plus, it's a common secret that the authorities sometimes even turn a blind eye when locals enter some of the casinos. Therefore, it would come as a surprise if any online enforcement would be applied at the moment. Yes, the environment is not the most friendly regarding online betting in Cambodia; however, both players and operators are usually overlooked. The use of a VPN software though is still necessary. If the authorities suddenly decide to monitor who visits online sportsbooks, protecting your IP address would be a step ahead.
Banks do not block transactions, despite Cambodia gambling laws being clear about the illegality of online betting. Players can freely use bank wire or credit cards, since there is no active surveillance from the authorities. On top of that, Jeton is also available. E-wallets like Jeton, offer secure transactions and they allow you to actually bet under the radar. This means that the nature of your transactions is not directly visible. The Internet is slowly gaining turf, with more locals trying to figure it out and use it. In that sense, if you have already familiarized yourself with cryptocurrencies, a growing number of bookmakers also facilitate them.
The future of online gambling in Cambodia
The 2020 ban on the online sector left Cambodians with absolutely no gambling options, at least officially. Unofficially, sports betting in Cambodia takes place through agents, and sometimes even inside casinos. The government is openly targeting the gambling sector; yet, at the same time, it tries to take advantage of the millions of dollars in taxes that derive from it.
So the local market will probably continue to operate as it stands, on its own uniqueness; posing as a gambling mecca for tourists and turning a blind eye when Cambodians are looking for a piece of the gambling pie. The regulation -and eventual taxation- of the online sector, does not yet seem to fit in the local political agenda.
The complete list of Cambodia sportsbooks
After analyzing how the local gambling scene looks like, we now list all betting sites Cambodia players can play at. These are all trustworthy operators, so just make your pick, based on your betting needs.
If you are Cambodian, you must be aware that no form of gambling is allowed for locals. However, the law mainly focuses on land-based casinos and betting agents; so, online betting should not usually land you in trouble. Still, always be cautious, use a VPN and bet only on credible bookies.
Being one of the most popular bookmakers worldwide, 22Bet accepts Cambodian bettors. Its extensive coverage of the biggest football events from around the globe, along with its live betting platform and its very competitive odds, will surely leave you satisfied.
Every online sportsbook that you see in our analysis is carefully checked for its trustworthiness. Sticking to the ones we list guarantees nothing less than a safe betting experience. So, avoid any online sites of uncertain quality that you might come across while surfing on the web.
Cambodian players are more than welcome at 1xBet. A solid bookmaker which provides one of the widest betting arrays on sports from all top leagues and competitions. On top of that, it comes with a 98%+ payout on the major football leagues.
What you should keep in mind as an expat in Cambodia, is to avoid dodgy bookmakers and betting agents. Online gambling is only illegal for locals; so, all you have to do is stick to the legitimate sportsbooks we list in our analysis and simply avoid drifting in uncharted -gambling- territory.