Elephants in action against the competition fever

Thais love to bet on the World Cup, even though gambling is a criminal offense. More than 3,000 people were arrested in the first days of the tournament.

Anti-gambling campaign in Thailand

Thailand takes action against the betting fever: Although their own team is not qualified for the soccer world championship, the people in the kingdom love betting on the games in Russia. But the military government cannot accept that. And so she had more than 3,000 people arrested in the first days of the tournament. According to media reports, more than 100,000 websites for betting enthusiasts in Thailand are trying to make a profit out of football fever.

The deputy chief of police Chalermkiat Srivorakhan refers to the flood of mobile phones, which made permanent betting possible in the first place. The “Net Idols”, the heroes and heroines of social media, are also targeted: the police want to call them in because they advertise for betting sites. The police said they were working with a total of 36 authorities – from telephone service providers to the anti-corruption bureau – to track down the bettors. To draw attention to the campaign, the Thais had elephants play football in the ancient royal city of Ayutthaya at the beginning of the games.

Betting on the outcome of games is a criminal offense in Thailand. However, the fees are limited to 1000 baht (26.33 euros) if you are caught. However, if children are involved, they increase tenfold or even face three months’ imprisonment. In all Asian societies, especially those with a Chinese character, betting is a popular sport, which the authorities either directly forbid or disapprove of. The college of the Thai Chamber of Commerce predicts that football betting in the kingdom would turn over 59 billion Baht this year – that would be 0.2 percent of the economic output of the military dictatorship.