Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has expressed concern over an increase in illegal gambling by Thais during the month-long UEFA European Soccer Championship, or Euro 2020.

In Thailand, gambling is regulated by multiple laws and all of them point to the simple fact that gambling is illegal here.

To cater for the gambling demands of Thai citizens, there are casinos in Cambodia, Burma and Laos, which Thai citizens patronise. Customers are also able to play online from any location and then visit the offices of the casinos in person to claim any winnings.

The prime minister had instructed the Royal Thai Police, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society and relevant agencies to increase the monitoring of illegal gambling, especially online on sites like CasinoHex Thailand , and to enforce the law against the offenders strictly, according to the Deputy government spokeswoman, Traisulee Traisoranakul.

Police in Thailand is tasked with monitoring illegal gambling. Raids regularly take place resulting in fines and or jail time for people found to be hosting or playing in illegal gambling events.

Traidulee also said that the prime minister expressed his good wishes to Thai people in general and, in particular, soccer fans, who can watch the soccer matches via the NBT2HD channel, which holds the rights to broadcast the matches live, at a time when many people may be under stress because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

During the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Thailand saw one of the biggest crackdowns on illegal gambling in the history of the country. Over 1,000 people were arrested by the authorities, with the majority being sports bookmakers.

The prime minister, she added, has appealed to soccer fans to avoid illegal betting on their favorite teams.

People in Thailand could have missed the chance to watch this spectacular soccer tournament, because none of the television broadcasters and potential sponsors could afford the broadcast rights, due to the financial impacts of COVID-19.

Two days ahead of the kickoff of the tournament, PM Office Minister Anucha Nakasai was told to negotiate directly with the owner of the broadcast rights for Thailand. The rights cost of over 300 million baht, according to a government source, who maintains that the money will not come from the taxpayer.

24 European nations are battling for the coveted crown during the month-long event, from June 12th to July 11th. Portugal is the reigning champion. 51 matches will be played.

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