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To the war room!

Tim Newton

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To the war room! | The Thaiger
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Two predictable things happen every four years – the running of the World Cup and a synchronous crackdown on gambling in the Kingdom.

And here we go again. The Metropolitan Police say they’re gearing up to fight illegal gambling ahead of the World Cup soccer tournament in Russia this week. They are claiming they have an ‘action plan’ to seize bank accounts of bookmakers in five minutes. (They must know something about Thai banking that we don’t. Or they’ve never actually visited a bank in Thailand.)

The police deputy commissioner Pol Maj-Gen Panurat Lakboon says that the bureau had set up a “war room” to monitor activities of illegal betting on online and mobile platforms, which will become officially operational tomorrow, the day before the official opening of the World Cup Russia tournament.

Police claim that their war room will focus on “attacking the financial sources of the illegal gambling operators with representatives of banks to be invited for discussion on measures to deal with the bookmakers”.

Is the war room like this?

To the war room! | News by The Thaiger

or more like this?

To the war room! | News by The Thaiger

Probably more useful, the police will also be heading out to schools to launch a campaign to educate secondary education students and their parents of the threats of illegal gambling.
Police are warning that if students are caught gambling online, the parents of the student would face legal action for “negligence and failing to look after their children”.

There are hundreds of online gambling websites available with most based outside Thailand but with network in the country. In some cases operators set up their own gambling websites with servers based in Singapore or other neighbouring countries to avoid arrests.

Police say they’ve had the best results by infiltrating gambling gangs and going undercover. Given the changes in technology and the move of betting portals onto smartphones, police will have their work cut out for them, between the football games.

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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for nearly 40 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented 3,900 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 450 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and is now the General Manager and writer for The Thaiger. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue.

Events

Pattaya firework party lights up the weekend | VIDEO

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Pattaya firework party lights up the weekend | VIDEO | The Thaiger

After much anticipation, the Pattaya Fireworks Festival lit up the sky this past weekend, delighting spectators with beautiful night beachside spectacle. More importantly, it was the first time Pattaya was packed with tourists since March this year, albeit mostly Thai tourists.

The event program was packed with long fireworks shows with hotels offering promotions for advanced bookings in an attempt to provide a much-needed boost to the local economy over the weekend.

To watch some of last night’s events from Mike Bridge, click HEREand HERE.

The annual festival saw Thais and foreigners taking part in the festivities as local bars, pubs, restaurants, and food vendors enjoying a bit more padding in their pockets. Organisers didn’t disappoint as they carried out their assurances to provide a world-class show with 4 fireworks shows per night. Such titles as “Shining in Sky,” “Paradise Pattaya, Everyday for Everyone,” “Pattaya Twilight, Decorated Stars,” and “Light is Life,” summed up the shows’ themes.

During one of the shows’ breaks, a 45 minute concert by popular Thai artist “Mean” graced the ears of onlookers, while an elephant show, by the Pattaya Elephant Camp, proved to be a sight for sore eyes. Marching bands featuring local Thai students started from the North Pattaya area and parading down Beach Road to the main stage area, located near Central Festival Mall filled the air with music, along with tiger shows and an art show by Nong Nooch Botanical Garden rounding up the schedule.

The popular Thai rock band “Big Ass” wrapped up the last fireworks show at 9:30 pm, with another popular Thai band “Boom Boom Cash” rocking out the night.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus Japan

Tokyo Olympics may cost almost US$2 billion more due to Covid delay

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Tokyo Olympics may cost almost US$2 billion more due to Covid delay | The Thaiger

The Tokyo Olympics may cost almost US$2 billion more than its original budget of US$13 billion, after it has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Olympic organisers say they will decide on the increased budget for the Games after communicating with Japan’s government and Tokyo. The Games were postponed by 1 year after Covid-19 spread worldwide, with its opening date set to July 23, 2021. Of all the events postposed because of Covid-19, the Olympics was the biggest and most complex to postpone.

Such a delay has yielded new costs, from retaining the organising staff, rebooking venues and transportation. Not to mention, the question of if the event can actually proceed safely. But Olympic officials are reaffirming that the Games can, indeed, be held following safety measures.

Such covid safety measures are reportedly another reason why the price of the event has increased, although the new estimated cost doesn’t include such measures. Officials say they are expecting the additional costs to be paid for by the Japanese government. Organisers and officials are reportedly considering a long list of possible virus countermeasures that they hope will make the Games possible, even if a vaccine is not yet available.

A dialed-down, lower-cost Olympics plan was announced in September, with banners, mascots, meals, and athlete welcome ceremonies being scrapped along with fewer free tickets to be offered. A senior official has said that Tokyo Olympics test events will resume in March with a decision on fan attendance to be made in the spring season.

Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee Chief says he is very confident that the Games will have attending fans. However, fan enthusiasm has decreased inside of Japan, with summer polls indicating only 1 in 4 Japanese people wanting the Games to happen, with most wanting them to be postponed or even fully cancelled.

So far, Tokyo has reported just over 40,000 cases of Covid, with Japan reporting 145,000 cases since the pandemic began.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Road deaths

5 family members killed in early morning collision in Nakhon Ratchasima

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5 family members killed in early morning collision in Nakhon Ratchasima | The Thaiger

An early morning collision today has taken the lives of 5 family members in Thailand’s lower northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima. One boy, aged 5, and two girls, aged 3 and 11, along with other family members, were killed when a pickup and sport utility vehicle collided in the Non Daeng district at around 6:40 am on the Mitrapap highway near the Ban Krok village of tambon Yao Yai, which lies north of Nakhon Ratchasima town. 4 men were also injured in the crash.

28 year old Anuwat Onnual, the driver of the Isuzu pickup, told police that he and 2 other male passengers were returning to Bangkok after unloading meatballs in Nong Khai province, when he lost control of the pickup, causing it to swerve across the highway median and collide with an oncoming Toyota SUV in Non Daeng district. Anuwat admitted he had fallen asleep at the wheel.

The other family members apart from the children killed were a 30 year old woman, who was driving, and another 35 year old woman. 2 other men who were in the SUV were also seriously injured along with 2 other men in the pickup. Those who were injured were separately admitted to Khong, Sida and Non Daeng hospitals, which are situated along the Mitrapap highway where the accident occurred.

Police say all 7 people who were travelling in the SUV were of the same family, in which 5 of those family members were killed. Police say an investigation was underway.

The accident is the latest in Thailand’s ongoing dangerous road saga, as 2 days ago, a Thai singer died after crashing his carinto a lamppost while on a video call with his girlfriend. 23 year old Akkarachai, known as Ice, was found dead at the scene on Pahonyothin Road, or Route 1.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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