Cops catch gamblers at Phuket temple fair

Gamblers busted at temple fair, photo by The Phuket Express.

Temples are supposed to be sacred spaces, but not for one group of people who cops caught gambling at a Phuket temple fair.

Region 8 Police said they busted the 18 people at the Chalong Temple Fair in the early hours of yesterday morning. The gamblers included 15 men and three women.

Most of the gamblers were sellers at the fair, who joined the gambling dens after the fair had closed up.

The gamblers were caught playing games such as ‘High-Low’ and ‘Rummy,’ The Phuket Express reported.

The officers brought the gamblers to Chalong Police Station to face charges of joining illegal gambling.

This news comes just a week after another gambling den was busted in Phuket. Early on January 19, Phuket cops raided a nightclub gambling den in the island province’s central city district.

Phuket City Police sent an officer to monitor the situation at the nightclub near Surin Circle (known as Fountain Circle) on Rassada Road in Talad Yai market. The police then busted 14 people on the third floor of the club’s building.

Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society says more than 1,500 people were arrested in 2022 for online fraud and gambling. The Cybercrime Control Committee announced the statistics at its first meeting of the year.

Thailand‘s anti-gambling laws did not deter Thais from placing bets on the FIFA World Cup 2022. In fact, the Royal Thai Police made 12,245 gambling arrests between November 19 and December 18, 2022.

Police seized cash, houses, land, luxury vehicles and watches amassing 1.7 billion baht from illicit gamblers. The police estimated that Thais bet a whopping 11 billion baht on the World Cup’s 64 matches.

Nearly all forms of gambling are illegal in Thailand, apart from the government-sponsored lottery, according to the Gambling Act (1935).

As with so many other laws in Thailand, gambling laws don’t seem to mean much to people, considering how common the crime is in the country.

Crime NewsPhuket News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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