In a bustling area of Banteay Meanchey province, residents have been concerned over billboards in front of the Poipet Customs and Excise Office promoting online gambling.

Prompted by their complaints, provincial governor Oum Reatrey ordered the Poipet municipal authorities to immediately remove the billboards.

On August 13th, the town administration acted swiftly and took down the billboards. It was a quick response to a public outcry, but one that raises questions about how the signs were erected in the first place.

“The billboards were installed without requested authorisation from any competent authority,” the Poipet administration confirmed.

They also stated that they were open to and accepting of all constructive criticism from residents.

Poipet governor, Keat Hul, was equally responsive. On August 13, he acknowledged the people’s discontent by sharing that photographs of the billboards had been widely circulated on Facebook and in the media, expressing dissatisfaction and strong reactions.

He noted, however, that the billboards were never authorised by any relevant authorities.

According to Hul, the discovery of the billboards was only made when people began reacting on social media.

He promptly sought guidance from the Banteay Meanchey provincial governor and took immediate action after receiving instruction.

“The billboards were only in that location and the provincial administration has already called the owners of the billboards for education,” he explained.

The billboards belonged to two betting companies, and featured a man holding a ball with words in Khmer that read “Thai people, we are here!”