Gambling and football are often difficult bedfellows, courting more than a little controversy wherever they intermingle. Gambling is though in reality very much part of the sport. But just how intermingled is it with the local scene, and can you gamble on Cambodian football?
To read about the Cambodian Premier League click here
Is gambling legal in Cambodia?
Despite being a country literally awash with casinos gambling for Cambodians is technically illegal, with a foreign passport technically being required to play in a local casino.A huge reason why border regions such as Poipet are considered casino towns.
This means that online gambling is also technically illegal, but the reality is that some sites will not only allow Cambodian gamblers, but even accept payment from local processors such as Wing.
To read about Wing click here.
Gambling and the Cambodian Premier League
Gambling and Cambodian football has remained a hot potato since even before the introduction of the CPL. Initially sponsorship by gambling companies was outlawed, which put some clubs such as Asia Euro United among others at risk of not being able to compete.
The irony of course being that one of the top clubs in the country is quite literally owned and operated by NagaWorld.
The problem has since been at least temporarily fixed, but overall the relationship between the league and gamblers is technically at least a tenuous one.
Genius Sports and Foreign Gambling on Cambodian football
Yet while local gambling on domestic football is outlawed, foreign gambling is not only allowed, but also a key source of income for both the Football Federation of Cambodia, as well as the team of statisticians covering the games for foreign gambling sites.
This comes officially through a partnership between the FFC and Genius Sports, the largest football statistics company in the world. They train, pay and send statisticians to matches whose job is it to report live on not only when key moments like goals are scored, but quite literally who is in possession at any one time.
If you’ve ever been on gambling site and seen the computerized live game updates, then these are done by humans, rather than machines.
At almost all Cambodian football matches, including the lower levels of the Hun Sen Cup these stltictsicans can be seen with the headphones speaking commands into their phone such as “home attack”, or loudly screaming when a goal is scored.
So, while the CPL might be officially against gambling, they do still work with, profit from and deal with the wider world of gambling on Cambodian football.
This article is adapted from BPVE SPORT Cambodia, reported and edited from the great team – Cambodia Sports Review.
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