Cambodia has a unique relationship with gambling. The official laws of the land make it illegal for citizens to participate in any form of gambling. However, these laws are loosely enforced and Cambodians in many parts of the country are able to visit both land-based and online casinos with little to no legal risk.
It should be worth noting, however, that the risk is not zero. Even though people place wagers in person and at Cambodian betting sites every day, the laws of the nation clearly prohibit all forms of gambling. The good news is that these laws are rarely enforced and Cambodian police are ill-equipped to investigate individual citizen’s online gaming activities.
Let’s begin with a look at a few of your options for betting online in Cambodia. The casinos on this page accept customers from Cambodia. You’re welcome to sign up for an account, make a deposit and play real money games. A working knowledge of English will give you access to all the biggest brands in the world, including those based out of gambling-friendly European nations.
Cambodian Betting Sites
It is rare to find Khmer language betting websites based out of other nations. They do exist but they are far and few between. You may also occasionally encounter local gaming websites based out of Cambodia. I would not recommend playing at local sites due to a lack of regulation and their quasi-legal status. Some local Cambodian betting websites have been raided by the police in the past.
It is significantly safer to place your bets with sites based out of regulated jurisdictions. The sites on this page have legitimate licenses and are regularly audited for fairness by their gambling authorities. Additionally, they face no risk of being raided and shut down by Cambodian police because they have no physical presence in the country.
Riel Deposits and Khmer Language
Deposits could present a challenge for some customers. The Cambodian Riel (KHR) is not widely accepted. Even the major brands based out of other Asian countries seem to forgo the riel as an accepted currency. The good news is there are other options.
You can always deposit with an e-wallet such as Skrill or Neteller. An account there will give you the ability to deposit and withdraw from all the major gaming sites of the world. However, neither of these services accept KHR transactions. Therefore, you’ll have to convert your currency to USD, EUR, GBP or some other currency before completing your deposit.
Gambling Laws in Cambodia
Gambling was outlawed in Cambodia during the dark Khmer Rouge days, but those times are thankfully gone. The industry made a comeback in the early 90s. In 1996, the Law on the Suppression of Gambling was passed. This piece of legislation made it illegal for all Cambodian citizens to participate in gambling. It remains in effect to this day.
Anyone caught gambling is punishable under the law with a fine ranging from 10,000 to 50,000 riels and up to a month of imprisonment. Repeat offenders are subject to a fine of 50,000 to 100,000 riels and up to a year of imprisonment.
Anyone caught operating a gambling den is subject to a fine of 5 million to 20 million riels and one to five years of imprisonment. The law also provides punishments for the production or importation of gambling devices and punishments for government officials who license gambling dens without the express permission of the Royal Government.
Casinos in Cambodia today are supposed to cater to tourists and non-citizen residents only. This law, like many other in the country, is loosely enforced. It may be sporadically enforced from time to time, but Cambodians generally have no trouble visiting any of the dozens of casinos located across the country.
Speaking of which, it’s tough to even come up with a tally of how many land-based casinos exist in Cambodia. I’ve seen estimates that range everywhere from 25 to 60. Many of these casinos operate near border areas and cater to people crossing over from Thailand and Vietnam. Regulations and oversight over these casinos are minimal, so play at your own risk.
NagaWorld in Phnom Penh is the largest casino in all of Cambodia. It has an operating license until 2065 and has been granted a government monopoly over all gambling within 200km on Phnom Penh until 2035. NagaWorld consists of a massive hotel, 170 table games, 1500 slot machines and takes wagers as high as US$150,000.
More recently, NagaCorp purchased two Boeing Airbus A320 airliners to fly people in from Macau and Hong Kong. The casino also has a small fleet of private jets reserved for high rollers. This is by far the largest and most legitimate gambling operation inside Cambodia.