Thailand Cracks Down on Illegal Internet Betting

Published Thursday, July 04, 2013 -
Thailand Cracks Down on Illegal Internet Betting

Prior to the September 2006 military coup d'état, in Thailand 34,411 web sites were blocked by all three government agencies. Estimates put the number of websites blocked at over 110,000 and growing in 2010. It was suggested that approximately two to three percent of those blocked sites had something to do with gambling.

A recent article in the Thai news the Nation reported that at least six online gambling web sites were frozen and the bank account of those domains were locked up pending an investigation. The Department of Special Investigation said as many as one thousand bank accounts and 10 million Thai dollars were involved.

Accounts connected with students and the general population were allegedly linked to the online gambling sites about 20 accounts of these were reportedly identified as the perpetrators. The illegal internet gambling activities included football betting and online casino games. DSI chief Tarit Pengdit who has been in charge of the ongoing investigation into the illegal online betting has had summons’ issued of all of the account holders.

The police revealed they found the bookies had arranged for at least 200 punters to join gambling activities on offshore websites and had operated as an proper business that included a manager, accountant, telephone operator, and a financial person who would complete the illegal transactions.

The higher up books may be transferring bets worth Bt200 million to Bt500 million per month.

The chief also said to the paper the criminals have been hard to catch because of sophisticated techniques. The operators set up bank accounts in Thailand’s banks for prospective punters and moved or closed them often enough as too not arouse any suspicion by officials. The offices of the bogus business set ups were also relocated frequently. This process kept the authorities guessing as to whether the business and money transfers were legal.

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