Thailand’s ban on “claw” machines could be reversed after Chiang Mai ruling

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The popular “claw” machines at arcades and malls, some filled with stuffed animals or toys, are actually banned in Thailand because, back in 2020, the Interior Ministry announced that the games of technique and chance were considered “gambling tools.” But the two-year ban could be reversed after a recent ruling in Chiang Mai.

Earlier this month, the Chiang Mai public prosecutor dismissed a case filed against an arcade operator Family Amusement Co Ltd, dropping charges of “organised gambling” and “concealing illicit imported goods,” saying the “claw crane” machine considered vending machines, not “gambling tools.” In March 2021, police had arrested the game store operators and seized 35 claw machines from the shop at Promenada shopping centre in Mueang district, according to the company’s legal advisor.

“Administrative staff and Mae Ping police also seized property in the dispute, including 35 claw machines, seven token-exchange machines, 198,750 baht in cash, and two claw machine keys.”

The claw machines were produced in Thailand, according to reports. And the prosecutor did not consider the machines to be gambling devices. The company’s legal advisor says the prosecutor found that they were operating their business in line with the Interior Ministry’s guidelines.

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SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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