World Cup Gambling Crackdown Sees Almost 5,000 People Arrested

 | Tue 15 Jul 2014 18:28 ICT

CityNews – The Royal Thai Police have revealed that 4,720 people have been arrested for gambling during the FIFA World Cup 2014 game period.

The crackdown on illegal gambling began at the start of the soccer World Cup, and has seen at least 2 million baht in cash confiscated from gamblers. Police also found lists of gamblers involved in combined bets adding up to about 34 million baht. Thousands of bet tickets have also been seized.

Of the 4,720 people arrested, 249 of them were bookmakers, and 128 were bet couriers. The rest of them (4,343) were punters. During the same period, 2,128 websites were blocked by the Information and Communication Technology Ministry, and the police have asked them to block even more.

The punishments for gambling in Thailand are a jail term of up to one year, and a fine of 1,000 baht. That means that thousands more people are now being pushed into the overburdened prison system, and will collectively pay almost 5 million baht in fines.

The NCPO listed gambling as a vice that is rife within Thailand, and offered this as one of the reasons to justify their coup.