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Foreign affairs ministry reports surge in Indonesian nationals engaging in Cambodia's online gambling industry

Jakarta Globe - March 6, 2024

Antara, Jakarta – The Foreign Affairs Ministry has noted a substantial rise in the number of Indonesian citizens participating in Cambodia's online gambling sector.

Judha Nugraha, Director of Indonesian Citizen Protection and Legal Aid at the ministry, shared data from the Indonesian Embassy in Phnom Penh, revealing around 17,121 actively reporting Indonesian citizens in Cambodia. Contrastingly, Cambodian authorities reported a significantly higher number, stating that 73,724 Indonesian citizens possess residence permits in the country.

"There is a noteworthy difference between Indonesian citizens with legal residence permits in Cambodia and those actively reporting themselves," Judha said in Jakarta on Tuesday.

This divergence underscores the lack of awareness among Indonesian citizens in Cambodia regarding self-reporting, with the ministry asserting that the unreported majority are involved in Cambodia's rapidly expanding online gambling industry.

"This phenomenon is still under discussion among ministries/agencies in Indonesia on how we can address this issue. It's not just about online scams; online gambling is also a concern for us," he emphasized.

Indonesian Ambassador to Cambodia, Santo Darmosumarto, previously observed an uptick in Indonesian citizens engaging in online gambling businesses, aligning with the evolving business landscape.

"In recent years, we have seen the growth of people working in Cambodia in businesses related to gambling, such as restaurants, laundries, salons, mobile phone shops, and so on. We estimate about 60 percent [of Indonesians in Cambodia] are working in online gambling, and the rest in supporting businesses," noted Santo.

As the number of Indonesian nationals involved in online gambling increases, so do cases of employment disputes, handled by the Indonesian Embassy. However, Santo clarified that most cases are not necessarily linked to human trafficking offenses.

The Cambodian Commercial Gambling Management Commission (GSCGMC) has never granted licenses to online gambling companies, emphasizing the illegality of all online gambling in Cambodia. Currently, the Cambodian government only licenses two types of gambling – physical casinos and lottery gambling.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/foreign-affairs-ministry-reports-surge-in-indonesian-nationals-engaging-in-cambodias-online-gambling-industr