Thousands arrested in World Cup betting sweeps
One of the stand-out features of reportage around the World Cup football this year has been the barrage of illegal gambling arrest reports emanating from police forces, particular those in the Pacific-Asia region.
Massive anti-gambling drives have taken place in most countries, but perhaps more notably in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and China, which have collectively detained thousands of mainly online punters and broken up rings generating billions in wagers.
The latest of these reports comes from Thailand, were the national police reported Tuesday that over the World Cup, which kicked off June 12 and ended last weekend, they have arrested 5,064 people for illegal gambling, comprising 4,679 gamblers, 258 bookmakers and 127 betting slip runners.
Most are expected to receive suspended jail terms, except in cases where particularly large sums of money are involved, police Maj Gen Chantavit Ramsut told local media, claiming that police shuttered more than 2,000 football gambling websites during their anti-gambling investigations.
Police records show that the last World Cup, which was held in South Africa in 2010, saw the arrest of 3,800 across the country for illegal gambling.
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