BangkokCrime

300 million baht illegal online gambling site busted in Nonthaburi

PHOTO: A 300 million baht Illegal online gambling operation in Nonthaburi was busted. (via Flickr Bago Games / Naew Na)

A raid in Nonthaburi in the Bangkok suburbs resulted in a 300 million baht illegal online gambling enterprise being shut down. Police from the Region 1 station obtained arrest warrants for 2 luxury homes in Nonthaburi province estates after tracking down where the online gambling operation was based.

The website, which had amassed a following of 40,000 members, was at 99fun99.com and was moving between 300 and 400 million baht in gambling earnings each month. While police have been vigilantly cracking down on illegal online gambling operations this year, this is one of the biggest enterprises they have managed to bust.

The Nonthaburi bust was the biggest recent bust, but police also raided a 5-man illegal gambling operation at Ngam Wong Wan as well as a 4-person gambling project at a housing estate in Pak Kret. Both locations were taking bets on a variety of games and events, placing odds on football games and hosting baccarat and slots as well as other options. Police seized electronic equipment from both locations.

Online gambling has surged in popularity as people desperately look for ways to look for money while being out of work due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Gambling has compounded misery for many who end up deep in debt and turn to crime, as robberies to pay gambling debts have been seen more frequently in Thailand.

The busts come at a time where the government is considering yet again to legalise gambling and open a casino complex. Gambling is clearly a huge business in Thailand and legalising it would allow the government to collect revenue from it (that they vowed to use in part to help some demographics pay off debt). Yesterday 5 subcommittees were formed to examine this legalisation plot.

Many government members on the 60-member panel the House of Representatives set up see a casino complex as a chance to compete with countries like Cambodia, the Philippines, and Singapore that lure tourists with gambling. Some have proposed foreigner-only gambling complexes in Bangkok, Pattaya, and Phuket.

SOURCE: ASEAN Now

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.