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Sports Betting in Cambodia

Cambodia, officially ‘the Kingdom of Cambodia’, is a country in Southeast Asia on the southern Indochinese Peninsula. It was under French rule from 1863 up until it gained its independence in 1953. 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.

Best Sportsbooks in Cambodia

cambodiaBelow, we list the best sportsbooks available online, offering a wide coverage of all major football competitions. Also, check the appealing promos that await you upon opening your account.

Gambling in Cambodia - 5 Things to Know

  • 1
    All forms of gambling are illegal for locals
  • 2
    There are plenty of casinos attracting thousands of tourists
  • 3
    There is no licensing system for online bookmakers
  • 4
    Laws are reportedly quite loosely enforced
  • 5
    Online gambling has also been banned since 2019

General info

Population: 15.500.000

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

Status: Regulated

Online Betting in Cambodia: The Law Framework

BMB_Power IconGambling 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 sports betting in Cambodia.

Punishment ranges from 10-50,000 riels and up to one month of 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, Cambodian laws are not as strict as in the brick-and-mortar sector.

What Should Cambodian Gamblers Know

BMB_Best IconIf you are a local, remember that typically it’s illegal to partake in any 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 scams. 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 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.

How to Deposit at Online Sportsbooks

BMB_Markets GenericBanks do not block transactions, despite Cambodian 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. You will find, among others, dozens of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or Zcash betting sites to choose from. 

Neighbouring Countries Gambling Framework

Exploring nearby countries' gambling regulations is essential. You can always enhance your understanding of the online scene and even exploit gaps compared to your country. Let's take a look at some of the close-by regions: 

Vietnam: Since 2017, casino and sports betting has been legal. The problem is that the new legislation only covers land-based operators. No entity oversees the online gambling sector. This is something that local players take advantage of by registering on Vietnam betting sites

Thailand: You will not come across any legal betting shops or casinos in the country. As far as we are concerned, despite the absence of a detailed set of laws, online gambling is also prohibited. However, this doesn't stop users from playing on international Thailand betting sites without restraints.  

Laos: The country's Penal Law deems gambling illegal. The truth is, though, that a lot of the region's tourist activities come from gambling, with many visitors going to the local casinos. In addition, Laos betting sites online flourished, primarily due to the lenient restrictions from the authorities. 

Singapore: This is one of the few fully regulated markets in Southeast Asia. Technically, the Remote Gambling Act of 2014 only allows local companies to accept wagers. Nonetheless, locals prefer international Singapore bookies because they come with higher odds and limits. 

The Future of Online Gambling in Cambodia

BMB_Book SpyThe 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 into the local political agenda.

FAQ
Q: Is it legal to bet online in Cambodia?

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.

Q: Can I bet with 22Bet in Cambodia?

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.

Q: Is online betting in Cambodia safe?

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.

Q: Is 1xBet available in Cambodia?

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.

Q: I'm an expat. What should I look out for when betting online?

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.

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