The Thailand Police has arrested 6500 people so far on gambling-related charges since the start of the World Cup. Among the arrested 250 persons are bookmakers who operated the illegal racket. The police also confiscated 28 million baht.
Deputy Police Chief Gen. Chalermkiat Sriworakarn said authorities are even considering the options to convert the temporary centre – established in May this year to crackdown the football-related gambling – into a permanent facility. The military and the police are launching a joint crackdown on gambling as many Thais are glued to the ongoing World Cup. Police treat the crime as a gateway to other crimes including robbery and drug trafficking, as some who lose money seek to gain quick cash to pay debts.
About 2.5 million Thais are involved in football-related gambling, according to a study by Chulalongkorn University’s Research Center for Business and Social Development.
The research, conducted last year, said 600,000 out of the estimated 2.5 million are young Thais aged 15 to 25, 110,000 or which are first timers. It added that mobile devices had made the practice more frequent.