Thai Military Leaders Warn Again On World Cup Betting

Between June 9 and 21, the national police force has arrested 1,677 people involved in World Cup betting and shut down 675 illegal gambling websites

Thailand's military leaders have again warned the population that there will be no letup in the police campaign against illegal betting on World Cup football.

A police spokesman told the Reuters news agency Monday that between June 9 and 21 this year 1,677 people have been arrested and 675 online sports betting websites have been shut down, and extensive police action is continuing.

"Thais are quite addicted to gambling and the World Cup is a period when gambling spikes," Anucha Romyanan, a deputy police spokesman said.

"People are still trying to access gambling websites so we're locating those websites and shutting them down."

Apart from horse racing and the national lottery, most forms of gambling are illegal in Thailand, including casinos and Internet wagering.

Thais are expected to spend around 45 billion baht ($1.4 billion) on World Cup betting, according to the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

"This tournament only happens every four years, so Thais take advantage of the occasion," said Thanawat Polvichai, director of the university's Center for Economic and Business Forecasting.

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