January 12, 2021 written by

Illegal gambling den in Thailand shut down, linked with COVID-19 outbreak

The Royal Thai police have raided and shut down an illegal casino den in Pattaya, a coastal town near Bangkok. The den was also discovered to be the epicentre of a local COVID-19 outbreak. 

Five raids have been conducted in and around Bangkok recently, resulting in at least 21 arrests. Cash and gambling equipment have been confiscated from the venues, including decks of cards, plastic chips and mobile phones

These raids were one of the larger operations by the Crime Suppression Division, similar to 10 raids conducted in June which resulted in 46 arrests.

Local newspaper Pattaya Mail reported last week that the commissioner of the region has been transferred to an inactive position due to the existence of these dens in his region. A fact-finding committee will check if any local police officers were lenient or took bribes from gambling den operators. 

Newspaper Nation Thailand quoted Jiraphop Phuridet, deputy chief of the Central Investigation Bureau, saying “This operation is a part of the National Police chief’s policy to eliminate gambling dens nationwide to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading among the public.”

On Monday the Thai government decided to tighten the country’s current lockdown following a recent spike in the number of coronavirus cases. Since then, all meetings or events that draw crowds are prohibited. The exact rate of contamination from these underground rings has not yet been discovered.

The reason for the spike in illegal gambling could have to do with the fact casino gambling is currently illegal in Thailand and, due to ongoing travel and tourism restrictions, nationals cannot visit nearby countries such as Cambodia to get their fix of gambling legally.

Of course, the safest way to gamble is online. However, did you know that earlier this year many Dutch online casinos got in trouble for advertising their sites as “corona-free”?

You’re probably better off playing from our list of the UK’s best online casinos rather than getting caught out congregating in groups!

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