Police widen investigations into overpriced online lottery sales

Police widen investigations into overpriced online lottery sales

Police and lottery officials spread out books of tickets for the press to examine during a search of the premises of Lottery Online Co in central Bangkok on Tuesday. It was part of a wider crackdown on overpriced tickets covering 12 provinces on Tuesday. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
Police and lottery officials spread out books of tickets for the press to examine during a search of the premises of Lottery Online Co in central Bangkok on Tuesday. It was part of a wider crackdown on overpriced tickets covering 12 provinces on Tuesday. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

Police on Tuesday mounted a search of 33 locations across 12 provinces connected to the online sales of overpriced lottery tickets by the Kong Salak Plus website.

Among the searched locations was the Kong Salak Plus head office, known formally as Lottery Online Co, in Sukhumvit Soi 63 in Watthana district of Bangkok.

This was the second time the company has been raided with an earlier one conducted late last month when police found over 4.4 million tickets, valued at 100 million baht, in the company's possession.

The authorities, however, were unable to seize the lottery tickets as they had been sold to customers.

Police said a warrant was issued for last month's search after authorities were informed that the company had purchased lottery tickets that were supposed to be allocated to officially licensed ticket vendors.

The raids in the 12 provinces were in response to the opening of 14 new lottery-selling platforms. The provinces were Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi, Chachoengsao, Chanthaburi, Nakhon Nayok, Chon Buri, Yasothon, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Nakhon Pathom, Chumphon and Nakhon Si Thammarat.

According to police investigators, the search of the Lottery Online Co premises was to learn if lottery tickets discovered there were procured legally under the Government Lottery Office's quotas.

The firm has advertised the price of its lottery tickets being sold online for the May 2 draw at 95 baht each, drawing criticism from officials.

Panthawat Nakvisut, the company's president, insisted the company has done nothing wrong. He explained the lottery tickets were retailed online at 80 baht apiece, which is the legal price.

However, customers are charged an extra 15 baht per ticket as a so-called "support" fee. Mr Panthawat added no law forbids customers from willingly wanting to support the website.



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