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Thais hit Cambodia casinos to sidestep junta's crackdown on gambling

Published on Jun 22, 2014 12:52 PM
In a picture taken on June 19, 2014, a Cambodian man rides his motorbike past a gate of the Golden Crown Casino in the Thai-Cambodian border city of Poipet, northeastern Cambodian province of Banteay Meanchey. -- PHOTO: AFP 

POIPET, Cambodia (AFP) - Desperate for a flutter during a junta crackdown on gambling at home, Thais are making a beeline for casinos in a seedy Cambodian border town - which has already been deluged by migrants also fleeing the kingdom.

For over a decade Poipet, a scruffy, vice-ridden frontier town studded with casinos and online gambling booths, has lured customers from neighbouring Thailand, where betting is all but banned.

Casino staff in Poipet told AFP the chips have been changing hands at an unusually fast rate since the Thai army seized power across the border on May 22.

A junta blitz on organised crime has seen raids on underground casinos, dozens of arrests and access to a number of online gambling sites blocked.

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