DPM eyes gambling revenue

DPM eyes gambling revenue

Somsak: Taxesbetter than ban
Somsak: Taxesbetter than ban

Online gambling should be legalised to increase government revenue, said Deputy Prime Minister Somsak Thepsutin.

Mr Somsak, who supervises the Justice Ministry, was speaking to reporters before Tuesday's cabinet meeting. This followed reports that eight policemen were involved in online gambling operations, which led to cyber crime police raiding 30 locations in six provinces on Monday.

They included five houses owned by deputy national police chief Surachate "Big Joke" Hakparn.

The targets were those allegedly involved in the online gambling network dubbed "Betflix". Most forms of betting are illegal in Thailand.

"More forms of gambling should be legalised, for example on football. As of now, the state and the public do not benefit from [gambling taxes]," he said.

"If these were taxed like other gambling activities the Interior Ministry has licensed, including bull and cock fighting, it would be good because it would help increase state revenue."

He said he would discuss the issue with the Strategic Transformation Office and possibly make a proposal to the cabinet later.

"Legalising gambling would be beneficial because online gambling involves huge amounts of money. The government could collect taxes and use that money to help people with disabilities, elderly people and underprivileged children," the deputy prime minister said.

About 4,400 online gambling websites have been shut down this year while cyber crime police have handled 6,000 related cases, said Digital Economy and Society Minister Prasert Jantararuangtong.

He said administrators of gambling sites and people who place bets risk jail time and fines.

Do you like the content of this article?