Cambodia bust online gambling karaoke parlor; Malaysia bust online cockfighting

cambodia-gambling-karaoke-malaysia-cockfightingCambodian authorities have shut down a Chinese-run online gambling site operating out of a Poipet karaoke parlor.

On Wednesday, Interior Ministry officials announced that they had ordered the closure of the unlicensed online gambling business due to the operators having failed to secure the necessary paperwork. Police found 63 Chinese nationals on the property, but since all had the necessary visas, none of them were arrested.

The karaoke parlor’s owner had rented part of the property to a Chinese businessman, who reportedly had obtained government permission to operate an online gambling business but had yet to receive the official go-ahead from Finance Ministry officials.

Cambodia Daily quoted a director of the Interior Ministry’s central security department saying that the gambling business would be permitted to resume its operations once the paperwork was in order.

However, the government previously stated that online gambling businesses were only to be run out of land-based gaming venues, and it’s unclear whether the karaoke parlor in question is attached to one of the many small scale casinos that operate in Poipet.

Poipet has become a hub for online gambling businesses, most of which cater to gamblers in China. Cambodian police have targeted numerous rogue online gambling operators in the past but primarily because they were less interested in offering gambling services than committing fraud and extortion.

Moving south, Malaysian authorities in the state of Sarawak say they’ve busted their first online cockfighting gambling ring. Local media reported that police on patrol in the city of Kuching noticed activity inside a shuttered steamboat restaurant and decided to take a closer look.

Inside, police found a number of individuals watching a big-screen TV on which cockfighting was taking place. Police also found gambling chips with denominations ranging from RM10 to RM5k (US $2.40 to $1,215) and concluded that the individuals were wagering on the outcome of the cockfights.

Police said the cockfighting was being streamed live from an unspecified foreign country. Thirteen individuals were arrested, including the building’s caretaker and three female Chinese nationals.