MP calls for crackdown on election bets
- Published: 5/02/2013 at 04:45 PM
- Online news:
Illegal bookmakers in Khlong Sam Wa district of Bangkok are taking bets on the outcome of the city's governor election on March 3, according to a Pheu Thai MP.
Pheu Thai deputy spokesman Jirayu Huangsap told parliament on Tuesday that illegal bookmakers had switched from taking bets on football matches to allow gamblers to bet on the city poll.
He urged police to tackle the problem.
According to a report in Post Today, many bookies are offering gamblers the chance to lay a variety of election-related bets, such as who will be the new governor, or the amount of votes candidates will receive.
The most popular wager is reportedly a spread bet, backing the winner of the election to receive between 850,000 and 1 million votes. If the winning candidate get votes in this range, bookies will pay out 90% of the stake.
Statistics show that since 1990, only the late Samak Sundaravej amassed slightly over one million votes, when he won in 2000. Two former governors from the Democrat Party, Apirak Kosayodhin and MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra, got almost one million votes.
Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Khamronwit Thoopkrachang admitted that evidence of this sort of crime is difficult to obtain because gamblers often bet in private groups.
He said police will immediately take action if there is any proof of such activity because betting on the election could influence the final result.
Pol Maj Gen Vicharnwat Borirakkul, superintendent of Metropolitan Police Division 1, admitted that he expected illegal gambling on the election to take place but said police had yet to receive a complaint about it.
"The gubernatorial election is similar to sport," he said.
"It is not a surprise that Thais will see the event as a competition and bet on it. No one has yet filed a complaint to us regarding the issue."
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