Since gambling is illegal in Thailand, it is only natural that Thai gambling news either report on legalization efforts or on crackdowns.
Online forms of gambling are also banned under Thai gambling laws. So much so, that although the lottery is legal, even ticket printing terminals are forbidden to be used by the points of sales.
It is in this context that police busted a sports betting ring, accused of soliciting punters for illegal online sportsbooks in Thailand. The gang – or rather, the criminal enterprise – allegedly ran an elaborate business serving at least 1,000 punters, among them about 200 heavy bettors.
According to Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief Tarit Pengdit, the organization managed between 6 and 16 million US dollars’ worth of monthly turnover. This money was wagered by players through football betting sites, as well as through underground Thai internet casino.
The complex criminal operation included recruiting agents, accountants, managers and other “corporate” roles, evading the authorities by switching banks every couple of months.
The sites in question have been shut down, but their names or addresses have not been made public.
Such sites are often based in neighboring Cambodia, where regulations are more permissive. At times, however, illegal gambling operators set up shop in Thailand proper: two months ago police arrested 13 South Koreans for running unauthorized online football betting from a luxury condo in Pattaya.