1,300 Vietnamese place Cambodian bets every day

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A government ban that prohibits Vietnamese from entering local casinos has not stopped around 1,300 of them from crossing the border to gamble in Cambodia every day, border police said.

Police in the Mekong Delta province of Long An, which shares a more than 132-kilometer borderline with two Cambodian provinces, said in a report August 8 that there are 11 casinos and five cockfighting dens operating just across the border, said Tuoi Tre newspaper.

The Vietnamese players often travel through two international border gates in Kien Tuong town and Duc Hue District.

Police said that losers are often held for ransom from their families.

In some cases, families who failed to make quick payments have received fingers allegedly belonging to their relative(s) in the mail, police said.

Police in Binh Duong and Binh Phuoc Provinces near Ho Chi Minh City said earlier this year that many students have dropped out of school hoping to make big money at casinos in Cambodia.

They travel through the border in Tay Ninh Province, which neighbors Ho Chi Minh City, only to become the victims of gambling scams. Many later lured their friends into casino cons.

Vietnam has opened six casinos, including its latest five-star casino-resort, a US$4.2-billion project, which opened in the southern beach town Vung Tau July 26.

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But they are only available for people with foreign passports as gambling is illegal for locals.

Long An police have also noted prominent prostitution in the province, saying that around 1,600 women are working in body service shops that are likely to provide sex services and 75 percent of them are from outside the province.

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