Lottery market’s dirty secret exposed: Decades of bribery unveiled

Photo by Kapook

Bribery in the lottery market in Thailand has been prevalent for about 20 years, according to the president of the Thai Lottery Traders Association, Sam-ang Sonklin. He claims the issue stems from high costs at the source, which forces sellers to increase their prices. The police also face pressure to address the problem, resulting in a vicious cycle that affects both sellers and law enforcement officials.

Sam-ang revealed that some police officers negotiate monthly payments of 500-1,000 baht (US$30) from lottery sellers to avoid inspections and provide protection. Large-scale sellers may have to pay much more – up to 8,000 baht (US$230) per month. He added that the use of ‘SSK pass’ stickers on lottery tickets is not limited to certain regions but is widespread across Bangkok and surrounding provinces.

Sam-ang noted that officers usually approach sellers requesting cooperation and understanding, as both sides face significant consequences if caught. He acknowledged that in some areas, extortion tactics have been employed. Sellers who cannot afford the payments stand to lose their rights to operate if caught but fear that complaining would lead to harsher treatment.

The Thai Lottery Traders Association president urges the Government Lottery Office and relevant authorities to revise the law and pricing structure so that sellers and consumers can achieve a fair outcome. He also called for action against the still-thriving underground lottery market, which does not contribute funds to the state.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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