President of Thailand Concerned About Online Lottery

Published Sunday, January 03, 2010 -

The prime minister of Thailand Abhisit Vejjajiva says he is deeply concerned about the effects of proposed online lottery in the country. He is worried that the social impact of the online lottery will e very negative. This concern has moved him to form a committee to dismantle the online gambling initiatives. Mr Abhisit said to the Bangkok Post "I do not want the online lottery but I must solve the problem of obligations under the contract," adding, "I will try to find a way out. From my point of view, I see the cons of the online lottery. If it can be avoided, it should be." Thailand Trade Representative president Kiat Sittheeamorn, who is a member of Mr Abhisit's Democrat Party will lead the working group to find a solution and remove the online lottery 'smoothly'. The group will study the contract with a private company and find a way to negotiate a way to cancel the contract hopefully without any damages. Mr Abhisit admitted the contract had obligations and must be renegotiated with care.

The Government Lottery Office signed a contract with Loxley GTech Technology in 2005 with sales scheduled to begin in 2006. The long delay has been complicated by legal problems and the GLO made the move to go forward without further delays.

Opposition MP Surapong Towijakchaikul of the Puea Thai Party suggests this scrapping of the online lottery was politically motivated and was against any such move. He said that without the online lottery, underground lottery bookmakers would prevail, lottery tickets would be overpriced, and students would lose education opportunities which revenues from the online lottery could fund. Chief Executive Officer for the Loxley GTech Technology company, Trijak Tansupasiri, said, the decision on the online lottery should rest with the public and the legal division of his company would look into the situation. There has been a public outcry over this reversal of a long awaited decision and it is expected that this may be a galvanizing point for the present government's political future.

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