Illegal gambling has become even more of a problem as health officials try to track down elusive gamblers after a Covid-19 outbreak at a Rayong gambling den spread to other provinces.
Gambling has been a major factor in the new wave of coronavirus infections as many compulsive gamblers tend to frequent various venues and also travel in groups, according to Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration spokesperson Taweesilp Visanuyothin.
“Gamblers do not go to only one place. If they lose at one den, they will move on and bet in others.”
The first cluster of infections last month was detected at a fishing hub in Samut Sakhon, affecting a large migrant community. While the virus spread to hundreds of migrants, health officials say those the cases linked to migrant workers have been easier to contain than the cases linked to gamblers.
Infections linked to the Rayong gambling den have spread to 15 provinces including Chon Buri, Chanthaburi and Trat. Some gamblers tested positive in Chiang Mai, Lampang, Amnat, Charoen, Bangkok and Kanchanaburi.
Police are now cracking down on illegal gambling. Last night, police raided a gambling house in northern province Nakhon Sawan and arrested 20 people. Apparently, many of the gamblers had come from the neighbouring province Pichit, according to the province’s police chief Rapeepong Sukpaiboon.
In Bangkok last week, a police chief and 5 senior officers for alleged negligence of duty following a gambling den raid in Bangkok’s Laksi area. Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan now says there are no gambling dens in Bangkok and police are “on top of it.”
In Chon Buri and Rayong, both provincial police chiefs were transferred and are being investigated after Covid-19 patients said they visited illegal gambling dens in the 2 provinces.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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