On Monday, Bangkok police arrested 94 people during a raid to stop illegal gambling. Seventy-seven of those arrested were Thais and the remaining 17 were foreign nationals from Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The casino was operated by 27 people, 13 of whom were foreign nationals.
During the raid, police found people betting on dice and card games, with no regard to health and safety requirements. The country’s national police were ordered to crack down on gambling to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Police lieutenant general Torsak Sukwimol said the casino likely operated for some time before the police were informed.
Increased attention to illegal casinos was further underlined when a cluster of 85 new COVID-19 cases was tied to an illegal gambling venue in Rayong province. One worker died, becoming the first fatality since 5 November. Rayong police claimed they had no knowledge of the ongoing operation.
Illegal casinos are not new in Thailand. The Bangkok Post reported in 2017, 58 gamblers were arrested for operating an illegal casino. The task force seized two baccarat tables, computers, cash and gambling equipment. Phahon Yothin police Chief Narat Moolasartsathorn confirmed the illegal operations lasted only a few days.