Cops nab 500 in first week of Euro 2012

2012-06-14 07:05

Bangkok – Bangkok police have arrested nearly 500 people on gambling charges since the Euro 2012 football tournament kicked off last week, a news report said today.

Of the 489 people arrested for gambling between June 8 and 12, some 13 were bookmakers and the rest punters, the Bangkok Post reported.

Altogether 85 000 baht (about R22 600) in cash was seized along with 4.2 million baht in betting slips.

Gambling on football is illegal in Thailand, but remains immensely popular.

An estimated 65 billion baht will be spent on Euro 2012-related investments in Thailand, of which some 41 billion baht will go on gambling, according to a pre-tournament survey conducted by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

The remainder goes towards consumer goods, electrical appliances and services.

Respondents to the survey said they would bet more on this year’s Euro 2012 than they did on the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

“Respondents will bet more money because they want to win more money,” said Thanavath Phonvichai, director of the university’s centre for economic forecasting.

“More gambling may lead to more crime in future,” he warned.

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