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Police set to crack down on football gambling

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Police set to crack down on football gambling
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Ahead of the World Cup kick-off on Thursday, police have launched an operations centre to crack down on football gambling, both online and offline, as well as SMS lucky draws.

According to a survey by Chulalongkorn University’s Centre for Gambling Studies, 40 per cent of children who bet on football started as early as 15 and 52.6 per cent funded their habit with their own piggy bank money.

Pol General Aek Angsananont, deputy National Police chief and head of the centre, told a press conference yesterday that all unit heads would discuss suppression measures in a videoconference this morning.

Pol Maj-General Noraboon Naenna, deputy Central Investigation Bureau commissioner, said the centre would join with each police precinct to tackle gambling at entertainment establishments or other venues showing live matches. While landlords that allowed gambling on their premises could face a permit revocation, bookies, investors and gang members would also be arrested.

Pol Colonel Akkharadet Pimonsri from the Crime Suppression Division said police and the ICT Ministry would immediately close gambling websites.

Football gambling had surged 30 per cent due growth in Internet usage especially among students and working people in big cities, he said.

Police would monitor calls to the 191 and 1599 hotlines to arrest telephone bookies and operators of SME draws and other gambling channels.

Cases involving more than Bt10 million and over 100 people could also face legal action under the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

As some desperate losers might seek easy cash to repay debts, police would also get tougher on robbers especially of banks, gold shops and 24-hour convenience stores.

Schools and banks were also urged to help alert police to student gambling behaviour and suspicious financial transactions.

Loan sharks using illegal methods for debt collection – as well as any police in their pockets – would also face severe legal action.

If police units nabbed gambling suspects in an area where local police were lax, they would face a probe over dereliction of duty, he added.

Nuannoi Trirat, director of the Centre for Gambling Studies, said 49 per cent of the 3,050 high school and vocational college respondents in eight provinces thought it was okay to wager on football matches with friends using other things besides cash as bets, while 21 per cent thought using cash added excitement to football viewing.

Almost 10 per cent thought it was alright to bet with bookies while 9 per cent were fine with betting online.

Asked when they first placed a football bet, 38 per cent of those with gambling experience cited the age range of 8-14, while 35 per cent cited 15 and 15 per cent said 16.

More than 37 per cent placed a bet once a week averaging Bt228 per time for the following reasons – more thrills to viewing (43 per cent), more serious game analysis (15 per cent), confidence to win (11 per cent), a risk habit (11 per cent) and peer pressure (10 per cent).

A majority of 53 per cent of the 10 per cent who said they intended to gamble on the World Cup 2014 matches were not worried about getting apprehended because they believed that football punters rarely got caught.

One-third of football-gambling youths were plagued with problems including having to find money illegally to clear gambling debts and getting severely stressed out to the point of seeking medical help and contemplating suicide, Nuanoi said.

Thanakorn Khomkrit, a coordinator of an anti-gambling network, called on parents and schools to work together to immunise youths against gambling and promote creative activities for them.

The network also provides a handbook for family football viewing at no charge. Those interested can call (02) 954 23446~7, he added.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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Thailandโ€™s Food and Drug Administration has denied that the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine is already in Thailand, The Thai government has ambitious plans to turn the Kingdom into a Southeast Asian hub for the manufacture of electric vehicles., The Thai Hotels Association is urging the government to extend the domestic travel stimulus schemes, set to end on September 30 and Thai Meteorological Department is warning of thunderstorms around the country, particularly in northern and North East Thailand, until the end of tomorrow.

 

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Economy

Thailand increases durian exports to China by 14% this year

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Thailand has exported 14% more durian to China in this year’s first quarter over the same period last year. The Trade Negotiations Department Director General says Thai durian auctions in the first quarter secured 186 million, making up 88% of the total amount of Thai durian exports to world markets.

Last year, Thailand exported US1.5 billion worth of durian to China, a 78% increase from 2019. China’s share accounted for 73% of total Thai durian exports to world markets. 18 countries have free trade agreements for fruit with Thailand. Thailand is actively exporting fresh fruit with its top buyers being Australia, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore. The most popular fruits are the national delicacy of durian, along with mango, mangosteen and longan.

Despite the increases in durian exports, farmers have been worried about Covid-19′s effect on the industry. Earlier in 2021 health authorities in China circulated a press release stating that imported cherries from Chile had been tested and found to have Covid-19 contamination. This statement prompted a huge drop in Chilean cherry prices. Thai growers are worried the same might happen to durian imports. As the seriousness of the Coronavirus in Thailand reaches new widespread levels, one instance of a durian container being linked to Covid-19 could spur a total ban on importing fruit from Thailand.

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SOURCE: MENAFN

 

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Bangkok

Hundreds of Thailand slums at risk of Covid-19 as many can’t afford to quarantine

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Stock photo by Miltiadis Fragkidis for Unsplash

Following the Covid-19 outbreak at the Khlong Toey slum neighbourhood in Bangkok, there have been more than 1,000 slum communities have been identified as having similar living conditions as the Khlong Toey slum, and are now communities at high risk advised to be under watch to prevent another outbreak.

The Social Development and Human Security Ministry’s Community Organisations Development Institute pinpointed 1,270 slum communities, saying that many are similar to Khlong Toey. Areas of top concern of a potential outbreak include the large community by Khlong Prem Prachakorn with more than 10,000 people as well as a community of around 5,000 to 10,000 people who live by the Yommarat Railway. Other slums of top concern include communities of more than 3,000 people in both the Ratchathewi and Wang Thong Lang districts.

Out of the slums pointed out by the institute, more than 200 residents in the 260 communities have tested positive for Covid-19, according to the institute’s deputy director Panthip Petchmak. 700 more people were ordered to quarantine due to close contact with an infected person.

But stay at home orders are a problem for many as starvation is more frightening than the virus and 90% of residents in the slum communities still need to leave for work each day to keep food on the table. The daily average income for those in the slums is around 120 to 150 baht.

The institute is now working with community-level organisations to provide food, water, and supplements to those in poor neighbourhoods in an effort to keep people at home, preventing the spread of Covid-19.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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