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Cambodian official suspended over slots

6 Jan 2009

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia -- As reported by The Phnom Penh Post: "Phnom Penh's tourism director was suspended last Tuesday for his role in a hotel licensing scam that helped dubious establishments use a legal loophole and illegally operate slot machines, according to Cambodia's minister of tourism.

"'I suspended Chen Saman, the director of the Phnom Penh tourism department, on December 30 for his involvement in issuing licenses for six nominal hotels without practical inspections,' Minister of Tourism Thong Khon told the Post on Sunday.

"'[Chen Saman] was careless in his duties because he failed to have these venues properly inspected before licensing them as hotels,' said Thong Khon. He said some of the places that received licenses were actually restaurants with only one or two rooms, but Chen Saman's office nonetheless designated them as hotels.

"Following a December 5 government directive, the Ministry of Finance can only issue licenses to operate slot machines legally inside hotels. Individual slot-machine owners may rent space at hotels if they want to continue to run their business..."

 
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