Police Seize Around $15m, Arrest 42 in Raid on Illegal Gambling Den in Pattaya, Thailand
Officers arrest 42
Police in Thailand have seized tables, card sets, and gambling chips worth about ฿500m (US$15m) and arrested 42 folks following a raid on a hotel area in Pattaya, The Thaiger reports.
Officers also seized firearms from the dealers during the Tuesday raid which took place at about eight:30pm.
The Pattaya News posted images from the raid on the four-star Le Vernissage Hotel in northern Pattaya on Facebook.
The 42 individuals detained now face charges for gambling, which is illegal below Thai law. According to Pattaya City Police Chief Colonel Kunlachart Kunlachai, officers acted on a court warrant and discovered dozens of gamblers playing baccarat. Media reports recommend none of the gamblers have been wearing face masks. Police also seized surveillance cameras in the room, which they will study for additional proof.
Pattaya police on a roll
The raid on Le Vernissage comes just days following one more bust on an illegal gambling den at a luxury condominium, also in Pattaya. The Christmas Day raid, which resulted in 18 arrests, was after once more a Pattaya police operation led by Colonel Kunlachart.
the sums generated in the illegal den came to millions of baht
Officers arrested 14 girls and 4 males and seized a range of gambling paraphernalia. Among these detained, 3 had been staff members of the casino den. According to Gambling Insider, Kunlachart estimated the sums generated in the illegal den came to millions of baht.
GI cites Thai police as saying the den’s staff each received 500 baht ($15) per day, although gamblers had to pony up 1,000 baht ($29.83) each in entry costs in order to take part in the gambling. The price of each gambling session varied according to what game was played and the quantity wagered.
The investigation is ongoing with police searching for leads as to the actual owner of the illegal operation. Authorities did not name the luxury condo in light of additional investigations and court proceeedings.
Fears and hopes
The fact that the 42 people arrested in the Le Vernissage raid have been not wearing masks reveals how seriously Thai law enforcement is taking the mandatory order for face coverings to be worn in all indoor and outdoor public locations.
In January 2021, the chair of the primary government panel on illegal gambling, Chanchao Chaiyanukij, formed three new subcommittees tasked with tackling the illicit gambling operations. Also in January, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha stated he was prepared to take into account a legal gambling market for the southeast Asian country.
Across the South China Sea in July, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte did a startling about-face in his historic stance on gambling, proclaiming: “Go ahead and gamble.”