GLO under fire after refusing to pay jackpot winner 12 million baht

An out-of-work, heartbroken Thai Lottery jackpot winner who won 12 million baht couldn’t claim her prize from the Government Lottery Office (GLO) because she bought her tickets from an online lottery platform that the government shut down for overcharging customers.

Phanthawat “North” Narkwisut, the CEO of Kong Salak Plus, was ordered to close his platform by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) after being accused of overcharging customers and gambling without permission.

North has also been charged with money laundering, as some of his investment costs were allegedly sourced from illegal businesses.

North is defiant and maintains his innocence. He states that the additional 20 baht charge, that customers have to pay on top of the lottery ticket price, is a service fee, which is clearly indicated on the platform, and his customers are willing to pay it.

Kong Salak Plus Customers are now worried that they will not be able to claim monies they won on February 1.

North noted the concerns but stated that every customer who won the prizes could still claim their winnings but would have to travel to the DSI’s office to process the document before getting the money from the GLO.

The controversy began when one of North’s customers scooped the first prize but could not claim the money as promised.

North shared on Facebook on Saturday that he contacted the customer who won 12 million baht and told her to travel from the western province of Prachup Khiri Khan to Bangkok to claim her winnings.

North explained that he processed the document with the DSI and she had to travel to the GLO to claim the money herself. However, the GLO refused to hand over the money.

North said that his customer was crying in front of the GLO and he had to send his lawyer to take care of her. North said…

“My customer recently lost her job and has been looking for work for several months. She had only 200 baht left and decided to spend that money on the online lottery through my platform. She won the first prize but had to suffer difficulties claiming her own money, even if she did everything under the law.

“I don’t care what you blame me for, but not with my customer. The government closed my platform even though the Court has not yet decided. This is what you do with the people?”

The director of the GLO, Nun Sansanakhom, clarified the issue with the media yesterday. He said that the GLO would like to apologise for the inconvenience and delay.

Nun explained that the DSI asked for cooperation from the GLO to stop giving money to lottery winners from the Klong Salak Plus platform, so they could not give the money to the winner immediately.

Nun insisted that the GLO quickly offered the money to the winner as soon as they checked with the DSI and found that everything was under process. Nun also ensured the winner received the whole amount of the prize, according to the law.

North congratulated his customer and urged netizens to check the videos of his customer crying at the GLO and decide for themselves whether to believe the accusation from the GLO or not.

Kong Salak Plus and other online lottery platforms have been operating for years. The platform applied for a lottery quota with the GLO and also bought lottery tickets from other local lottery sellers and put those tickets on sale via their online platform. It got good feedback from customers because it was a lot more convenient and sometimes cheaper than the sellers on the roadside.

Each platform is watched by the government, as most of them do not sell the lottery at 80 baht. If you have experience buying lottery tickets in Thailand, you might find out that the local sellers on the roadside sell the tickets for more than 80 baht as well.

The government tried to get rid of vendors selling overpriced lottery tickets and launched an official online platform for residents to buy lottery tickets last year to sell the tickets at a fair price of 80 baht.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.