656 people arrested for illegal World Cup betting

Photo by Marco Verch Professional Photographer via Flickr

The Royal Thai Police (RTP) have had a ball this week cracking down on illegal FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar football betting. During the first week of the tournament, the RTP arrested 656 Thai people for hosting or joining illegal football betting platforms, seizing nearly 200,000 baht from croupiers.

The Assistant to the Commissioner-General of the RTP, Phanurat Lakboon, yesterday reported on the department’s fight to prevent and suppress illegal gambling during the 2022 World Cup.

Phanuwat revealed that 656 people have been arrested from November 19 to 22. Most of the lawbreakers, at 587 people, were arrested for paper-based football betting. The other 69 people were arrested for online football gambling. Eleven people were gambling hosts of some type and 640 people were gamblers.

On Sunday, November 22 alone, the day the World Cup in Qatar kicked off, police arrested 411 people and seized nearly 100,000 baht from gambling groups.

The total amount of money seized from football betting in the past four days is 91,000 baht.

The Standard reported a survey of Thai gambling behaviour last year. The Center for Gambling Studies (CGS) surveyed gambling habits between February 20 to April 8 last year. They found 6,977 Thai people were caught gambling aged 15 years old and above in 24 provinces.

According to the survey, 59.6% of people gambled and gambling has increased over the past three years by 6.3%. The number of new gamblers increased too and the most popular gambling is football betting.

The survey also revealed each person on average has a gambling debt of about 13,579 baht and that over 80% continue to gamble despite having debt.

According to Section 12 of the Gambling Act, appointing, advertising, and joining a gambling table will result in imprisonment from three months to three years and a fine from 500 to 5,000 baht.

Moreover, anyone who joins online betting will face imprisonment from one to ten years, a fine from 20,000 to 200,000 baht, or both, according to Section 3 (9) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Crime NewsThailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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