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No illegal gambling dens are in Bangkok, deputy PM claims

Caitlin Ashworth

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Following Covid-19 cases linked to illegal gambling dens in Chon Buri and Rayong as well as a nationwide crackdown on gambling, deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan is assuring the public that there are no illegal gambling dens in Bangkok as some worry that the unlawful gatherings could potentially spread the virus.

Gambling is illegal and police are “on top of it,” Prawit told Thai media reporters. He didn’t mention last week’s transfer of a Bangkok police chief and 5 senior officers for alleged negligence of duty following a gambling den raid in Bangkok’s Laksi area.

Following Prawit’s statement, social media users criticised his claims that no illegal gambling dens exist in Bangkok.

“How can he say this? If you live in Bangkok, you know where there are places to gamble”

Police in Chon Buri and Rayong might not have been “on top of it” either. The police chiefs in both provinces are being investigated after infections were reportedly linked to illegal gambling dens.

A cluster of Covid-19 cases are linked to an alleged illegal gambling den in Rayong and a patient who worked at the venue has since died. The provincial police chief Papatdet Katephan was transferred following the outbreak.

Chon Buri police chief Prakarn Prachong was also transferred to an inactive post after reports that a Covid-19 patient had visited gambling dens in both Chon Buri and Rayong.

The national police chief, Suwat Jangyodsuk, ordered a crackdown on gambling to prevent the spread of Covid-19 after the outbreak at a Rayong gambling den.

Bangkok is classified as a “red zone” under maximum control to prevent the spread of the coronavirus with more stringent restrictions in hotspot areas.

SOURCES: Thai Visa| Bangkok Post

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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