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To the war room!

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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 Thaiger

or more like this?

To the war room! | News by 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 2011. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 42 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program (public radio Australia), presented over 11,000 radio news bulletins, 3,950 in Thailand alone, hosted 1050 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. He also reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.

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