Long odds in online lottery fight
Better educated and more affluent punters are placing their underground bets on gambling websites and officials tasked with stopping them are facing an uphill battle due to the challenges posed by the internet and what critics say are weak laws
The multi-billion baht illegal underground lottery is spreading online, with punters able to bet 24 hours a day on both lottery numbers and stock market numbers around the world.
But police say there is little they can do to stop the betting bonanza as most of the operators are based outside Thailand _ many in neighbouring countries _ and are believed to be backed by prominent political and business figures. They also complain that the penalties for involvement in these illegal operations are too weak to be a deterrent.
The dean of Rangsit University's College of Social Innovation, associate professor Sungsidh Piriyarangsan, said the underground lottery was undergoing rapid change, with the ability to place a bet now only a mouse click away. In the past, gamblers needed a personal connection or word of mouth information to bet on the illegal lottery, but now it's simply a matter of surfing the web.
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