Thailand is cracking down on online gambling websites. Internet providers will have 15 days to block 1,202 gambling websites before charges are pressed for violating Thailand’s Computer Crime Act. Although gambling is technically illegal in Thailand, underground and online gambling thrives in pockets of the country.
The Digital Economy and Society Ministry was ordered by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to crack down on illegal online gambling. The spokesperson for the Office of the Prime Minister says Prayut ordered the ministry to block the hundreds of gambling websites within the next 15 days. The ministry has requested 1,202 court warrants citing Computer Crime Act violations.
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission is collaborating with the ministry to block access to the gambling websites. The spokesperson adds they are working to solve the issue of online gambling very quickly, adding that the strict order is aimed at keeping teenagers away from online gambling. The news website Xinhua says since the websites are easy to access, many people, especially adolescents, get addicted to gambling and end up spending a lot of money.
On the other hand, leader of the Thai Civilised Party Mongkolkit Suksintharanon pushed for legalisation of online gambling last month. He says that foreign gambling websites bring in no revenue to Thailand and if online gambling are legal, the taxes could bring in 5 to 6 billion baht a year.
“There are many online gambling websites running in foreign countries for Thai people. The websites were running legally while it was illegal for Thai gamblers to play. There is also no taxation charged for gamblers and the Revenue Department is still confused about the law since it is ambiguous.”
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