A raid on a rubber plantation in Phuket, Thailand yesterday led to the arrest of 42 people in connection with an illegal cockfighting ring. Thai gambling laws actually permit cockfighting to take place in many parts of Thailand, provided the operations are proper licensed. In fact, some estimates say there are as many as 500 cockfighting dens operating across the country. The island province of Phuket, however, outlawed cockfighting seven years ago, making the cockfighting ring at the Phuket rubber plant illegal.
The raid was led by Crime Suppression Division Area 5 Inspector Sitthikiat Srichan. All of the 42 individuals arrested, including a pregnant woman, are being held at Chalong Police Station without bail.
Among the evidence seized in the raid are four fighting cocks, their legs bound and their bodies bloodied from recent fights. The animals are being cared for and fed at the police station, where they need to be held as evidence.
Indonesia’s strict gambling laws do little to deter players, and the battle between Indonesian authorities and local gamblers wages on. During the recent 2010 World Cup, hundreds of arrests were made in connection with operations that allowed football fans to bet on sports in Thailand.
Similarly, the Thai government has tried to suppress online gambling by blocking some 200 internet casinos at the ISP level, preventing local players from accessing them. But despite these strong efforts, countless casinos and sportsbooks find their way through the cracks, giving locals plenty of choices when it comes to internet betting in Thailand. Alternatively, locals can cross over to Macau, Cambodia or Myanmar to play at bricks-and-mortar casinos, or even travel to the Cambodian or Myanmar border to access online gambling sites from Internet cafés.