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.
Thai lottery enthusiasts are braced for yet another draw tomorrow. The lengths some Thai people go to guess the winning jackpot numbers are obsessive.
In the past few days alone there have been several intriguing lottery stories.
An unusual Sisal tree bearing an uncanny resemblance to a mythical Naga snake has drawn crowds of people to the residence of an 89 year old woman in Non Malai village in Thailand’s northeast Buriram province. Villagers believe the tree brings fortune. They flocked to pay respects and seek lucky lottery numbers from the peculiar tree in front of the old woman’s home. Read more about this story and others HERE.
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