The National Assembly (NA) opened the 5th Plenary Session of the 6th Legislature on Monday and approved a draft law concerning management of the gambling business.
The King also relayed a royal message saying that all laws that are permitted by the NA are essential for the executive and the judiciary and they should use them to their advantage.
NA secretary-general Leng Peng Long said on Monday that the draft gambling law is scheduled for submission to the Senate for further review.
“In the plenary session on October 5, the NA’s expert committee approved the law after hours of interpretation by our experts. We plan to submit it to the Senate for further review,” he said.
According to Article 56 of the draft law, which covers e-commerce, operating without permission will result in a suspension of business and a fine of 10 million riel ($2,436).
Repeat offenders of certain articles of the draft law are subject to imprisonment for one to three years and a fine of two to six million riel.
In his royal message sent to the NA, King Norodom Sihamoni said the laws passed by the NA were essential for the executive and the judiciary to carry out their duties effectively and efficiently in line with present-day situations and globalisation.
He said in addition to drafting laws, the president of the NA, the 10th Expert Committee of the NA, as well as NA members must fulfil their core duties in their constituencies to monitor the effective performance of the government’s duties.
The message said the NA and the government should work together on promoting social health and establish social assistance programmes to provide people with equitable and effective benefits.
Affiliated Network for Social Accountability (Ansa) executive director San Chey said on Monday that Cambodia shouldn’t have this law and the government should consider all gambling as illegal and all relevant authorities should crack down on it.
“Permission in the form of the law is not beneficial to society because it affects the whole of society and some youths who are addicted to online games,” Chey said.
A press release issued by the Office of the Council of Ministers (OCM) on the outcome of its July 3 Plenary Session said the Law on Trade Gambling would help maintain political stability, promote security and build national economic infrastructure and facilitate a steady increase in investment in the casino sector.
The press release said the law would promote the development of border areas that are former battlefields filled with landmines, malaria, and were underdeveloped and uninhabited.
It said the law would also protect the borders by building strong, sustainable buildings and encouraging new settlements, as well as supporting the development of tourism and job creation.
It would create a source of revenue for the national budget, the press release said.